From her days in her native Kansas to now hopping from the plethora of bars in New York City, 25-year old Katie Buchanan has been quietly winning fans over with her honest, poignant songwriting. For years, she has quietly released new singles that tell stories about her time in the Midwest to the bustling nature of the City That Never Sleeps, including a couple of EPs – 2014’s Go and 2013’s Another Beat.
Her music crosses from blues-rock to folk to folk-pop to Americana to pop. It takes hints from the likes of Lucinda Williams and Bonnie Raitt to Fiona Apple to Ray LaMontagne to Stevie Nicks to Mary Chapin Carpenter, and all of these influences can be heard on her debut LP, Glow.
Incorporating pop textures into folk, blues-rock, and Americana, Buchanan is able to create songs that are catchy and often rousing or smile-inducing, as is the case on the thoughtful “Glow in the Dark“, “Honey Don’t Let Go”, and the uplifting “Why You Leave Your Heart”. “Who You Were Before”, a melodic, mellow song about changes in a person, similarly adds familiar pop textures to ground this deep song and broaden its appeal.
“Anchor”, which is linked to “Why You Leave Your Heart”, is a synth-infused, indie-pop track along the lines of My Brightest Diamond and Sarah Jaffe. It’s a stunning entry into a new genre for Buchanan and one of the highlights of the album.
Where Buchanan excels is on the blues-rock songs. “Wish It On” and “Once” are lovely, melodic blues-rock ballads that pull at the heart strings. “I Know” is a classic, foot-stomping blues-roots track that would be cathartic live as Buchanan‘s wails on the guitar. On these songs, Buchanan‘s songwriting shines through along with her skills on the guitar. The songs are minimalistic yet powerful. They are excellent tracks where the NYC-based musician’s talents truly glow.
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