Review:'Bennett, Katy Rose' 'Where Does It Hurt? An introduction to...'
- Genre: 'Folk'
- Release Date: '30th October 2020'
After releasing five albums, it seems a fitting time to pause and take stock for Katy Rose Bennett. ‘Where Does It Hurt?’ spans the best part of 20 years of songs, with 8 of the songs lifted from her back catalogue joined by a brace of new songs that give this retrospective a forward-facing aspect.
Bennett’s biography is one that’s not short on obstacles, and is one of those narratives that reads like a cautionary tale of the damage success at a young age, a rapid ascendency, can cause, and it’s worth quoting at length:
‘There was a time in the early 2000s when Katy Rose Bennett (or KTB as she used to be known) was on the cusp of breaking through: she had been a finalist in the BBC Young Folk Award, she had performed on the main stage at Truck Festival with a 16-piece band and she had been invited to play at SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas on the back of the critical success of her quirky debut album, ‘All Calm In Dreamland’. But then, aged 20, it all went a bit sideways – Katy’s mental health suddenly declined with the start of a cycle of brief manic episodes followed by seemingly endless months of silent depression, which continued for several years. All while she was theoretically studying for a music degree’.
None of this is immediately apparent from her delicately-crafted, richly-melodic acoustic-based folk songs, which are dainty, charming, airy. While there are some subtle details – a graceful violin sweeps in and out on the title track, one of the new songs, and piano graces the backing on ‘One ore Time’ – and Katy builds up her own layers of harmony on a number of the songs, what’s presented here for the most part is simple, uncluttered but crafted songsmithery.
This collection does show that she’s got range, from the buoyant calypso-infused indie folk of ‘One Day’ (from ‘Songs Of The River Rea’, 2016) which opens the album to the sparse, wistful reflections of the closer, ‘End of the Day’ (from 2002’s ‘All Calm in Dreamland’). It may be have been nice for the tracks to have been arranged chronologically in order to get a sense of the artist’s evolution but then again, the sequencing of the tracks means that ‘Where Does It Hurt?’ actually feels like an album instead of a compilation, and making for a very nice introduction indeed.