It’s something of a joy to find so many new, young and talented singer-songwriters cropping up with such regularity; it certainly makes my job a lot easier and more pleasurable. And yet again, here’s another case, Kate Grom, who delivers her debut album, Heroine in a meaningful and well-seasoned fashion. The New Jersey native may be a first-timer in releasing an album but her efforts are aided and abetted by no less than a producer like Stewart Lerman (who, if you don’t know, has worked with the likes of Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw, Patti Smith, Shawn Colvin and a host of other luminaries) and a guitar virtuoso like Steuart Smith (currently sharing lead guitar duties with Joe Walsh in The Eagles, but has also worked with Rodney Crowell, etc.). That kind of formidable core only strengthens the notion that already, Ms. Grom is a force to be reckoned with.
One listen – even a brief snippet – of the country-soaked “Whistle Cry” and you can instantly understand what I’m saying. Ms. Grom’s voice is just right; honeyed and warm yet emotional without the sometimes forced-pathos. The melody is embracing and the guitars are rich; sweeping and yearning; the solo is simple and perfect. “Tricks” has a more upbeat feel, which is wonderfully contrary to the lyrics – “…I remember you even when I don’t want to…” (a great line!) and has that “radio-friendly”/hit feel; “Under The Gun” is one of the album’s most “visual” tracks; dramatic and powerful, where Ms. Grom gets to show her vocal dynamics and skills and “This Storm” is as lovely and moving as you could hope for and want. Again, the lyrics fit the mood and melody and the way the song picks up after the first verses is absolutely spot-on and the nuances in the guitar licks are warming with their subtlety.
This is not a hard or ponderous album to listen and get in to; Ms. Grom puts it all out there; the players are right there with her and makes this a breezy joy and one to return to over and over. Good thing it’s coming out now, as spring is coming and I can see this being a “warm April drive” kind of album. A new artist in Kate Grom makes a new fan of me. And to show how much I want this album heard, please enjoy the entire collection as it makes its premiere on Popdose (below)!
Heroine will be released on Friday, February 24th, 2017