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Katell Keineg


Country of origin:

Born in Wales, grew up in Brittany (France) now in Ireland and U.S..

Type of music generally:

Beautiful, fierce, evocative/eclectic, jazz-flavoured folk/rock-y, alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, At The Mermaid Parade (2010)

See also:

Katell Keineg's site

CDBaby's page for Katell Keineg

Katell Keineg's MySpace page

A Katell Keineg page

Comparisons:

Her voice reminds me of Alison Moyet or even of Julia Fordham, mixed in with a little Sarah McLachlan in the high notes. (ishara@blarg.net)

I've heard lots of people comparing her to Paula Cole, which is actually not a bad comparison. Definitely more fitting than the Joni Mitchell/Natalie Merchant comparison used in her press material. (jjhanson@att.net)

I can't fathom a Natalie Merchant comparison, and to compare her to Paula Cole entirely misses the point: the similarities are superficial and irrelevant. I hear more PJ Harvey in Katell than anyone else, although Joni Mitchell comes in a close second. (lissener@wwa.com)

Covers/own material:

Own with occasional co-writers

General comments:

Katell Keineg is quite good—her albums are indeed interesting. She is traditional and poppy at the same time, and it's an interesting mix. (meth@smoe.org)

husky vocals and rootsy music with vaguely bluesy/celtic overtones. most songs feature a full band which, i admit, i like better than the solo guitar thang. i think the album is worth checking out, me'self. (woj@smoe.org)

I was unimpressed the first time I listened to Katell, but gave her another chance. Now I'm glad I did! She has a *great* voice! (ishara@blarg.net)

I myself love her voice whenever I'm in the mood for the intensity—the lyrics are pretty intense too. She digs her roots deep into the shamanic depths of the rich dark earth and brings forth images that touch all levels of the conscious and unconscious mind. (rholmes@cs.stanford.edu)

For what it's worth, neither Jet nor Ô Seasons Ô Castles did much for me; they seemed too overwhelmingly Celtic which from my point of view is just not my fave. That wailing I found a little grating as well. Mind you, I do like a nice bit of Irish music now and then.... I did like "Leonor" though, more for its references to what I was studying when I first heard it and I personally enjoy "Hestia". But then, I tend to listen more to the lyrics of a song than to the more melodic aspects of it. (kscleaves@juno.com)

Surprised to hear some people think Katell is very Celtic. I feel her stuff to be folk/rock/pop with an occasional eclectic/interesting and intellectual bent, but Celtic? Hmmmmm, I will have to listen more. (cyo@landoftheblind.com)

There are hints of different people, but she is very original. The Paula Cole comparison is apt vocally on some of Katell's songs. Additionally, her voice reminds me of Veda Hille's, though I'm not sure why. I'm not sure I would characterize her as "wailing" so much as husky yet breathy, but that's something I love about her. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of my favourites. The song "Leonor" (from Jet) has one of the best lyrics I've ever heard. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

I'm a big fan of Ô Seasons Ô Castles. In fact, it is probably one of my top five favorite CDs of the last few years. I first heard "Partisan" as a single from that CD, and I expected it to become a hugely successful pop song. I guess Katell Keineg is an acquired taste. I've encouraged a number of my friends to listen to her music, and I've found no one as enthusiastic about her as I am. (valerie@smoe.org)

I personally do think that Katell is beyond wonderful, both as a singersongwritermusician, and as a human being. (vickie@enteract.com)

Everyone should own Jet and Ô Seasons Ô Castles. (nnadel@hotmail.com)

Jet (and O Seasons, O Castles) is such a great album! I used to grab copies from the throwaway bins to give to people, but I stopped finding takers. I still have a few, though I'm sure they can be found for a dollar all over the net. Well worth seeking out though. Her latest ep is pretty solid too, and I'm really looking forward to the new album. (neal)

I LOVED Jet, liked O Seasons, O Castles) a lot, but sadly have found High July and everything since forgettable... (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

Katell put on a really great show. I was really amazed at how faithfully she was able to create the vocals and sounds from the album. Jet is really a studio masterpiece, but I didn't expect it to translate so seamlessly to live format. My biggest annoyance though is the inability to understand the lyrics. I figured seeing her live would help, since I could read lips, etc., but most of the lyrics were just as unintelligible as on the album. Kind of frustrating, but she definitely has a powerful voice. Overall it was a great show. She definitely is great to see live: she is very charismatic and a great performer. (jjhanson@att.net)

Katell swept onto the stage to the opening strains of "The Battle of the Trees", and the mood was set. She has a band consisting of bassist, keyboardist, guitarist, and drummer, and she plays acoustic guitar herself. The set list was mostly from Jet, with "Hestia" and "O Seasons" thrown in for good measure. The latter had a mind-blowing new arrangement, with the drummer providing a nonstop staccato tattoo of 16ths, over which the bassist laid a funky groove while Katell sang at the exact same (relatively languid) tempo as on the studio version. The song climaxed with Katell having what looked to be a dancing seizure all over the stage. And I have to say that I have a new appreciation for "Veni Vidi Vici" since experiencing it performed so smoothly live, Katell with microphone in one hand and glass of white wine in the other. :) It was an amazing show, highly recommended. (circa 1998)
Last night woj and I headed down to the Mercury Lounge to see Katell Keineg for the first time in, like, forever. It was well worth the 3+-hour round trip, getting home at 2:30 am, and crawling in to work at 8:30 am (though I am going to bed as soon as I finish this %).
     Katell took the stage with a minimum of fanfare, and I was excited to note that she was practically solo! I've only ever seen her with a full band. She did have a guitar player with her for the second half of her set, but it was all very sparse and wonderful. Don't get me wrong—her band shows rank as some of the most intense live musical experiences of my life. But to hear the songs stripped-down was lovely. She did a few new ones, and a lot of old songs ("O Seasons O Castles", "Ole", "Smile", "One Hell Of A Life", several more from the first album). Her set lasted almost an hour and a half. For an encore, she did two covers, the first of which I didn't recognize and the second a Louis Armstrong song.
     I realize that Ms. Keineg is an acquired taste, but seeing her perform live is always a memorable experience. There's something about her music that catches me up and carries me away, and doesn't let me go until the last note has faded away. (8/00)
     Last Saturday, we headed down to Croton-on-Hudson to see Katell Keineg play at a coffeehouse series set up in a Masonic lodge. It was the absolute last place I'd ever have expected to see her, but it was a great night. The price was unexpectedly steep ($20), but it was worth it, especially considering how rarely she performs in these parts. Katell was solo, and played a mix of new and old songs, and told some really hilarious stories in between songs. I think it's telling that the audience was made up mostly of people who had come a considerable distance to see her: just sitting around us were a couple from Long Island, and a group of people who had come down from Boston just for that purpose. (12/00, meth@smoe.org)

I would strongly urge going to see her perform live if it's at all possible, to do so would dispel any doubts about her extraordinary talent. Her show at Tonic made me a fan for life and I'd snatch up any disc she puts out just to be reminded of how her performance at that show made me feel. (jjh969@juno.com)

Katell Keineg's show at Joe's Pub in NYC was truly amazing, she is incredible live. she was amazing as always. she closed with a solo version of "gulf of araby", it was so gorgeous! (11/99, nnadel@hotmail.com)

Recommended first album:

My impression thus far is that Ô Seasons Ô Castles is more intense, earthy, and raw passion whereas Jet is more intellectual, refined, and subdued. they are very different, and some may like one much more than the other. They really are so different that you can't really judge one by the other. (rholmes@cs.stanford.edu)

Recordings:


Ô Seasons Ô Castles

Release info:

1994—Elektra—61657

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Produced by:

Fred Maher and Katell Keineg

Comments:

Well, I'm really impressed with Ô Seasons Ô Castles! Overall, this is one of the best cds I've ever purchased. I've played it over and over, sometimes several times a day and it is still one of my favorites. Some of my favorite tracks are as follows:
     "Hestia" reminds me of an acoustic Heather Nova in vocals and intensity; sounds sort of like Paula Cole as well. Nice sounding guitar strums; very powerful, one of my favorite songs on the CD...I certainly haven't gotten all the meanings out of it yet, and I don't suspect I will soon, but it evokes powerful feelings. It is for me a very powerful anthem to the spirit.
     "Partisan" has more of a standard rock beat than the previous song...less emotionally intense in the vocal expression than "Hestia", very nice. Although different musically, I get reminded of Happy Rhodes' "Collective Heart".
     "Cut" reminds me of both Paula Cole and Ani DiFranco, but unique unto herself. Really like the minor guitar scales, nice to hear a few augmented seconds here and there, and the interplay with the drums is really cool.
     "Bop" has interesting background texture at times...much stronger contrasts within the song (stronger rock feel briefly in middle of song). Like a lot of her other pieces, I can't stop playing this one...it gradually builds in intensity from subtle to overpowering, weaving a web of complex emotions and subtle observations, speaking to hope, despair.
     "Burden" is another incredibly indescribably intense song...you can feel the burden and sorrow.
     "Conch Shell"—Wow! Some interesting lyrics here! This is all done a cappella, in a somewhat sweeter voice than seems appropriate for the subject matter.
     "Coolea" is smooth and slow, and has folk-like acoustic guitar with strings and expressive vocals.
     "Destiny's Darling": Jazzy, upbeat feel. Cool lyrics. Celebrate!
     "Waiting For You to Smile" is another spoken word song/poem with quite a few background sounds—very good.
     "Paris": Here she reminds me of Heather Nova again...with some folk-style Patti Smith thrown in. Some powerful lyrics, the way she sings them has got to be experienced.
     "O Seasons": Another great song, of course, to be expected! And the title cut, no less!
     "O Iesu Mawr": Traditional Welsh hymn, and it sounds like it, even though arranged by Katell. Don't miss this one! Unique sound.
     "The Gulf of Araby": Another slow, intense song. Go listen today. Definitely one of my top 10 albums of the last few years. Raw, sparse, unpolished, heartfelt. (rholmes@cs.stanford.edu)

Lest Richard start feeling lonely, I felt I should pipe up and say that Jet was, well, not bad, but frankly, it simply can't compare to the brilliance of Ô Seasons Ô Castles. In fact, I'll say that I'd give up all of Jet just for the delight of "The Gulf of Araby." It's just one of those songs that Works. (burka@jeffrey.net)

Another whim buy that I'm pleased with. Some of the songs take some getting used to, but her voice definitely helps things out. If I had to choose a favorite song, it would be "O Seasons". I like it. Lots. Soothing and relaxing. She has a wonderful voice. (Matt.Bittner)

It's interesting. Paula Cole meets Rainbirds (circa Call Me Easy...) in Eire. A couple songs sound like they fell off Harbinger, others like they got nixed from Call Me Easy.... If you like either Cole or Katharina Franck's voice or both, this one is for you. Well, I have to state that I *love* Ô Seasons Ô Castles. I think it's utterly brilliant. (meth@smoe.org)

Ô Seasons Ô Castles is quite good. She has a definite accent and interesting voice. It's slightly too poppish for me, but I would be interested to hear other impressions. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

i think that this is quite good, though not always melodic. i think she moves among blues and celtic-type music rather well. anyway, it's pretty good. (clsriram@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)

She seems to have really good lyrics, and spoken word on here too. This sounds like it will be a good variety of songs! (fleur)

When I first got Ô Seasons Ô Castles (after loving Jet) I thought this one is too weird, what with the spoken passages and all, but it has grown and grown on me. It's is quite a mix, from PJ Harvey-hard to soft songs to spoken word...after falling for this one Jet now seems commercial! (cyo@landoftheblind.com)

When I first bought Ô Seasons Ô Castles I thought it was very thin and lightweight and airy and I couldn't get into it. Later I got another copy and okay, I revoke whatever bad things I ever said about it...DAMN...what an incredible album...but of course, already being schooled in Katell via Jet was helpful...but yow, I'm totally amazed by her...she's one of the few ladies who can make a song like "Franklin" seem artistic...she's just so INSIDE of those songs, she sings it all so convincingly, because perhaps of both the visceral power of her voice and the slight "off"-ness of her voice, too...she is kind of just letting her voice swoop about, rather than that absolute precision that, say, Emily Bezar or Iva Bittová...but anyway, um, Katell is now SO all up in my personal pantheon...mmm-mmm good! (John.Drummond)

I love this. It has a raw and edgy beauty, but it took a few listens to grow on me. Not all of the songs work as well, but I really appreciate the honesty and passion of all of them, and there aren't any songs that I skip over. It grew on me pretty quickly, but it was definitely an album that required time and repeat listening and growth to appreciate. There are songs on it I always love like "Hestia" and "Paris" and others that seem to be more mood songs, or rather that in certain moods at least I don't like them nearly as much as at other times/moods. "Hestia" haunts me (a good thing!) and "The Gulf of Araby" is simple and gorgeous. I'm not sure I would have liked it as much if I hadn't gotten Jet first, but I think I prefer this one, if only for emotional intensity. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the most beautiful voices ever. Just listen, if you need reminders, try "Gulf Of Araby or Franklin' that should get your juices flowing. (jsutton@hrmusic.com)


Jet

Release info:

1997—Elektra 62052-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Katell Keineg—voice, guitar

Guest artists:

Chris Cunningham—cheeky bina
Eric Drew Feldman—keyboards, bass, drum programming, percussion
Timothy Hill—tanbur, tamboura, voice, guitar
John Holbrook—guitar,percussion Goerge Javori—drums, percussion, hand drums, guitar
Rob Laufer—guitar, bouzouki, lyre, tamburitza
Rabert Manos—bass, voice, percussion, drum programming
Ursula Snyder—guitar
Paul Tiernan—guitar

Produced by:

Eric Drew Feldman, Katell Keineg & John Holbrook

Comments:

I love it—it's brilliant. Katell is a goddess. Even "One Hell Of A Life" is growing on me, though "Veni Vidi Vici" is going to take a little bit longer. Everything else, though, is positively transcendent. "Mother's Map" is every bit as powerful as I thought it was going to be, judging from the live performance I saw 2 years before the album's release. And it's not even the high point of the album. Overall the album has a much more "produced" sound than Ô Seasons Ô Castles, but it works, in a sort of prog-rock way. woj commented that she sounds like Jeff Buckley; I think that's an apt a comparison as any.
     Seeing a live performance only enhanced my opinion that Jet is one of the best things I've heard this year. Not only are the musical arrangements lush and always interesting (I mentioned earlier that I detect several prog-rock elements, combined with atmospheric interludes with such songs as "Enzo '96", "Hoping and Praying") but the lyrics are going to keep my brain tied up in knots for months. Elektra conveniently omitted a lyrics sheet, so I can't know for sure whether "Marietta" really begins with the lines "Marietta, queen of the pancakes crawls out of the Bisquick mix with only overshoes over torpedo thighs" or if I'm just losing my mind. :)
     "Leonor" is the best art history lesson since the Five Chinese Brothers gave us "Paul Cezanne". It's a musical biography of the Surrealist painter Leonor Fini, who was "raised interesting in the circle of James Joyce and Rainer Maria Rilke" and entered the Surrealist circle in Paris, whose "misogyny really irritated her, but she wasn't one to let it cramp her style". Katell's voice is another instrument in itself. Wonderful stuff. Lush, yet sparse when it needs to be. Wonderfully barely-decodable lyrics. Nary a weak track to be found, and ends with a subdued, emotional bang. Great music to drive to. I don't think it's as mindblowing as her debut, but I find it an easier listen, so I end up putting it on more often.
     The opening track, "The Battle Of The Trees" is one of the strongest openers of any disc in my collection. The crescendo is very moving. "One Hell Of A Life", the "single" really doesn't do much for me, but the rest of the album is just great. I agree that "Mother's Map" is worth the price in admission of itself as well. (meth@smoe.org)

I find Ô Seasons Ô Castles much more moving and intense (earthy and from the heart) than Jet. Ô Seasons Ô Castles is one of my all-time favorites (definitely top ten material, depending upon the mood). For me, Jet has some really great moments, but lacks the intensity and presence I feel in Ô Seasons Ô Castles. Definitely Jet is more accessible and poppy, but it seems more abstract and intellectual in the imagery, and although I like some songs on Jet very much, and find it enjoyable, I don't think I'd rave about Katell the way I currently do had I not gotten Ô Seasons Ô Castles first. And I *still* am mystified by "Olé Conquistador", since it seems like a cognitive dissonance to me: recognizing the conquering "hierarchical-patriarchal" violence in this person(?) and then ending a sort of love song to him.... just twists *my* brain around—does anyone else have a more satisfying interpretation of this song? (rholmes@cs.stanford.edu)

Totally in love with Jet. It starts off kinda normal girl-folkie with grunge-pop choruses and eases out inch by inch into something richer, sweeter and odder. Great voice, too, moves from Siberryish to Rickie Leeish and has a Euro feel...folky, weird, intelligent, odd, pretty..a find! I loved it immediately. sounds like Sade on acid then Suzanne Vega-ish.
     Katell seemed to have matured as a songwriter and a singer, on this one. I loved Ô Seasons Ô Castles, and some stuff there I didn't care for, but all are winners on her second. Much more accessible, a little poppier, some killer stuff, no poems. Anyway, it is a really great album with wonderful intelligent themes and great hooks. "Leonor" is one of my favs. (cyo@landoftheblind.com)

This woman knows no boundaries. Buckle up and go along for the ride. (beckwith@ime.net)

I found Jet to be much more compelling than Ô Seasons Ô Castles (and it doesn't have the annoying song about the monkey!) The song, "Mother's Map" is worth the price of the disc alone—(it's as if Katell gets possessed by an Indian warrior about halfway through the song.) "Mother's Map" gets my vote for best "epic" song of the year. (jjhanson@att.net)

This one surprised me. I wasn't a big fan of Ô Seasons Ô Castles—it just lacked that something that keeps me putting a disc into my player. I didn't dislike it, but I forget about it. However, Jet has so many wonderful songs that I found myself obsessing on it. That made the album wear out its welcome for a while, but I still enjoy this whenever I play it. A strong album, and its mature and wide-ranging songwriting is an especial delight. There are one or two songs I skip over, but mostly I think it's a pretty wonderful album. Jeffrey is right about "Mother's Map" being great and there are several other stunning songs on the album, like the conquistador song and I like "Leonor" a lot, too. All in all I would say she makes extremely significant leaps forward in Jet, and it's worth a listen. I almost didn't buy it because of my reaction to the first album, but I'm extremely glad I did. I love it. (Neile)

Jet has been eclipsed by the "newer" cds in my collection but I still like it. The song "Leonor" caught me and made me run to my Women in the Surrealist Movement to look at some of her paintings, and the feel of the paintings fit the music really well. Another wow album for me. I hope it comes back to me later with the power it had when I first got it. My only problem with the cd is that she doesn't pronounce "Veni Vedi Vici" correctly. I guess I should be glad she put latin on the cd, though. (brad@lightfallsdesign.com)

I am disappointed by Jet. I loved Ô Seasons Ô Castles, so was very excited when I found her newest. It sounds to me less interesting and overall less original. Her voice is still here but she uses it in a "tame" way and her melodies don't catch me. (rlovejoy@comcast.net)

A while back I got Jet because I stumbled across a copy and remembered hearing various favorable things about it. Unfortunately this is an instance where Ecto done me wrong. I've tried listening to Jet a few times and tried to like it, but to me it comes across as bland and downright annoying. There's something about Keineg's voice on some of the songs that just grates on me. I apparently lack the brain part needed to appreciate her music. It certainly doesn't make me want to seek out Ô Seasons Ô Castles. (stevev@hexadecimal.uoregon.edu)

Like others have said, Jet has much more of a studio, produced sound. If it feels somewhat removed in comparison to Ô Seasons Ô Castles, it's also more accessible and is wonderful in its own right. "The Battle of the Trees" is one of my favorite songs ever. "There You Go", "Marietta", and "Leonor" are also great. "Smile" is definitely one of my favorite tracks. Again, not all of the songs work, but the ones that do are quite beautiful. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I just bought Jet, but for my tastes the only song that held my interest was "Enzo '96". Everything else, I personally found her voice extremely annoying. In my opinion, of course.... (Anachro1@pacbell.net)

as I was looking through a bin of CDs, my eyes were immediately for some reason drawn to the store's one copy of Jet and thought, "It's fate, I have been putting off getting this for some reason, and I'm going to give it a try..." so I picked it up. and I totally didn't get into Ô Seasons Ô Castles like at all, but apparently a lot of other people felt the same way about that album but loved Jet, and so I brought it home and listened to it and it's amazing...and I taped it for my car immediately...and listened to it all day...and it really makes me think of hmm... it's like what Veda Hille would've become if she had Loreena McKennitt's totally historical European sensibilites...not necessarily "world music", but that same flirting-with-Celtica (wow, isn't THAT an awful term? I just coined it...somebody stop me before something bad happens) vibe that Loreena just immersed herself in...but with Loreena, it wasn't flirting, it was absolute love...and of all non-"modern and Western" musical forms...love that...anyhow...so now I'm into Katell after having slammed her first album so badly. *giggle* I'm so ashamed.... (John.Drummond)

Also kept hitting "Leonor" by Kaitell Keinig. After 3 listens, I had convinced myself it must be Ivy before I looked at it. I had only recently gotten Jet. It's been pretty well known as a killer album, and it's made a good early impression on me too. (neal)

it's a great record. has anyone noticed that 'battle of the trees' sounds just like an old joni mitchell song before it goes off into space? (barbearuh@erols.com)

The album is reasonably upbeat on the whole... (in fact "Smile" is one of those songs that, by rights, should be (or have been) a huge radio hit, but probably wasn't), but varies in style a fair bit at the same time... "Enzo '96" wouldn't be out of place coming from Lisa Gerrard, and Venus" is the sort of gorgeously minimal mostly acoustic-guitar-and-slightly-husky-vocal track that I tend to put on repeat :) (ectophil@netlink.co.nz)

Ithought Ô Seasons Ô Castles was mindboggling but found Jet to be a disappointment by comparison. Sure it's got its moments, and I still listen to it...but I really never thought it compared to the brilliance of the first album. (burka@jeffrey.net)

It's strong and lush music, everyone should buy it. (excelsis@angelfire.com)

A major find, here. Another much-loved and talked-about artist that I've been meaning to check out for a while, and...well, I just can't stop listening to it. There are so many things going on, here: so many ideas, so many different textures and styles, but she never slips into pastiche, and always transforms her material into something startlingly original and sometimes quite disturbing. I'd put her, along with Veda Hille, into the "undefinable" category, and promise myself I'll follow up on her again. As soon as I get a job. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

Jet (and Ô Seasons Ô Castles) is such a great album! Well worth seeking out. (neal)


What's The Only Thing Worse Than The End Of Time? ep

Release info:

2002—Field Recording Co—FLD 155

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Katell Keineg—vocals, guitar, space phone whistle, drum pattern

Guest artists:

Peter Holsapple—bass guitar
Michelle Kinney—string arrangement, cello
Deni Bonet, David Mansfield—violins
Chris Cunningham—guitar
Matt Johnson—drums
Dim Gurevich—all other instruments

Produced by:

Katell Keineg, Dim Gurevich, Robbie Adams

Comments:

I was pretty excited to hear she had new music out. I find myself just a touch disappointed with this release, but mostly enjoying it (new things come out in each listen). For some reason, her voice sounds less distinctive to me on the first and last tracks than it does on her previous releases. "Beautiful Day" maybe fits in with "One Hell of a Life." "River Man" (Nick Drake cover recorded live) is a lovely and spare song. And "Waiting for the Weight of Space" really showcases her voice. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I like the rest of it a lot, but that last track has a little country-ish taste that just isn't something I automatically love. It still has nice moments, though, and I'm happy for anything from Katell—and the first three songs are wonderful. (Neile)

If you like Katell Keineg, you should get it. There's a really lovely version of Nick Drake's "River Man" and I love 2 of the 3 new songs. The last song is still growing on me, but the rest more than makes up for it.
     Anyway, go get it! (tamar@u.washington.edu)

A great little EP from another great voice. Contains one of the best Nick Drake covers (of "River Man") I've heard. (jjhanson@att.net)

Her latest ep is pretty solid. (neal)


High July

Release info:

2004—Megaphone Music—CD Mega 06

Availability:

See Katell Keineg's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Katell Keineg—vocals, guitar, drum pattern (5)

Guest artists:

Matt Johnson—drums and percussion
Michelle Kinney—cello (5)
Kevin March—drums (9)
Jennifer Carey—tuba (9)
Natalie Merchant, Susan McKeown, Nicholas and Timothy Hill, Sean and Nicholas Mitchell—ladies and gents chorus (9)
Dim Gurevich—all other instruments and arrangements

Produced by:

Katell Keineg, Dim Gurevich, Robbie Adams

Comments:

There are a range of styles on High July, Katell's long-anticipated third full-length album. The first 5 songs follow an up and down pattern of upbeat and slow tracks. The energy of "What's the Only Thing Worse Than the End of Time?" is followed by the loose meditation of "High Marks," a very open song that moves like water. "Shaking the Disease" is a bit like a more sophisticated version of "Franklin" (from O Seasons O Castles) or Jet's "One Hell of a Life." "Beautiful Day" fits as well here as it does on the What's the Only Thing Worse Than the End of Time ep. The sixth song "Captain" remains upbeat with a riff you certainly will want to steal. It's a distinctive mix of pop and art that Katell has carved out, and I love it.
     "Little Joe" is spare, haunting, and achingly beautiful. But I think it's also a song that works differently depending on your mood; on the first few listens I found the first 2:29 irritating. "Brother of the Brush," a song narrated by the painter Paul Gauguin, is a quirky, countryish delight. "Seven League Boots" goes for a jaunty quirkiness and has rousing sing-along choruses which I rather enjoy. It's well-paired with "Brother of the Brush" but still seems a bit out of place on the album. "Te Recuerdo Victor Jara" is very quiet and though it's beautiful, I wish in a way that she had ended the album with something you didn't have to listen so intently to.
     Whatever quibbles I have are pretty minor. Overall I prefer the first half of the album, but it's all well worth listening to. I just hope we won't have to wait so long for the next album. (JoAnn Whetsell)

A rather flaccid effort from Katell. I got it a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had much of a chance to listen to it. My first impression is not as immediate as her others, but I know it needs more listening to do it justice. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)


Y Gwyneb Iau / Trouble

Release info:

2009

Availability:

See Katell Keineg's site; amazon

Ecto priority:

Recommended only for Katell Keineg fans

Group members:

Katell Keineg—vocals, guitar, drums, violin, buzzing fly

Guest artists:

Ann Scott—electric guitar, vocals (1); guitar (2)
Adrian Crowley—organ (1)
Rob Laufer—drums, guitar (2)
Eric Drew Feldman—bass (2)
Timothy Hill—vocals (2)
Pudenda Agenda (Moo Moo Ramone, Flashy Ashy, Josie and the other Ramone—toy drums, autoharp (2)
Dim Gurevich—mellotron (3)

Produced by:

Katell Keineg (1, 3, 4); Eric Drew Feldman, Katell Keineg, John Holbrook (2)

Comments:

A four-track EP. I really wanted to like this, but found myself disappointed. There are some lovely moments, but this collection misses for me, and certainly has none of the earworm power that her first two releases do. (Neile)

At The Mermaid Parade

Release info:

2010

Availability:

See Katell Keineg's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended only for Katell Keineg fans

Group members:

Katell Keineg—vocals, guitar, piano, moog

Guest artists:

Dim Gurevich—guitar, bass, piano (1, 5, 9), mood, organ vocals (4)
Ed Pastorini—piano (2, 12); Rhodes (8), keyboard, zylophone, vocals (12)
Ben Perowski—drums, percussion
Brian Geltner—drums (4, 12)
Matthew Morandi—bass (4, 12)
Jack McKeever—Ace Tone Rhythm Ace, guitar, moog (10)

Produced by:

Katell Keineg; Katell Keineg and Jack McKeever (10)

Comments:

It sounds hastily put together and (dare I say) even quite lyrically stupid in parts, as if she's just making it up as she's going along. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

Sadly, I agree with Adam. I really wanted to like this, but it just doesn't appeal to me, and feels, as Adam said, hastily put together. (Neile)


Further info:

Katell recorded a cover of "I Want You" with B for Bang for the 2008 album Across the Universe of Languages: B for Bang Rewires the Beatles. Her song "One Hell of a Life" was covered by Rachel Garlin on her 2002 album Five Minutes.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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