Katie Laine plays Tropical Folk Tunes
Better Than You'd Expect
“I was trying to post us on Reddit and I sat there thinking I needed a really good title for the post and I couldn’t come up with one. Then, all of a sudden it came to me and I wrote: ‘White person plays reggae and it doesn’t sound like complete sh*t.’ That‘s us in a nutshell.”
The group in question here is a trio made up of MacEwan University music students who play a unique and soulful blend of reggae-inspired folk-fusion — one which, according to Katie Anderson, also happens to not sound like complete sh*t. They go by Katie Laine.
Anderson — of whom the non-sh*t-sounding act takes their name — leads as guitarist and vocalist, while JD Speelman holds down the groove on bass and Sam Malowany sets the pace on drums.
The group recently celebrated the release of their defining debut EP, The Sea & The Soil, with a sold out gig at Cha Island Café and have recently garnered more attention than ever, with a string of interviews, live radio performances and album reviews.
Despite the average age of the performers being no greater than twenty years old, they have a mindset towards their art that feels well beyond their combined years on this planet.
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Full Radio Interview
The Sea and the Soil
In this day and age where up and coming musicians focus heavily on electronic effects, autotune, and edits, it is increasingly difficult to find an authentic sound. There is nothing wrong with exploring new ways of creating music, but due to our Internet culture, seemingly anyone can become famous these days with a few clicks of a button. However, Edmonton based band Katie Laine defies the EDM direction many young artists are taking with their new EP, The Sea and the Soil.
Katie Laine creates a quirky tropical blend of folk, reggae, and soul. The band shows their authenticity through their use of multiple instruments. Electric guitar, bass, drums, mandolin, and trumpet are all used to create their versatile sound. 19-year-old Katie Anderson, bandleader and vocalist, provides commanding direction with a mature tone that’s well beyond her years.
_The Sea and the Soil_ includes four tracks, opening with standout “February Ocean.” The song begins with the electric guitar playing a classic reggae chord progression. The added bass, drums, and trumpet create an island feel while Anderson’s emotionally charged vocals lead the way. This song fits perfectly with the album title, as the sound transports readers to the beaches of Jamaica. The lyrics are emotional and easily relatable, as she describes feelings that commonly present themselves in relationships – You are a February Ocean / How could you be so cold?
“Fingertips” and “Watchful Eye” take a folk route with a focus on the voice and guitar. These songs have a singer/songwriter feel to them, creating a personal connection to lyrics such as “tonight is ours” and “he’s got a new girl now who thinks she’s the one.” The EP’s third track “Tired of Losing,” is full of soul. Anderson connects to her lyrics, as the passion in her vocals shine through. The tempo is slow and calming, once again emphasizing the band’s diversity.
For the band’s first EP, this album is extremely impressive. It communicates to audiences through its passion and obvious love for music. For anybody searching for something different and unique in an era that tends to lack originality, Katie Laine is the first place to look.
The Gateway Press
Full interview with Rhea March from CJSR 88.5 at: