Album Review: Katie Malco ‘Failures’

The debut album by UK based singer-songwriter Katie Malco.

The much anticipated debut by Katie Malco, Failures, is released by 6131 records, and is both a personal soul-bearing record and an album about the power of connecting with relationships; marking this out as a record of this time and by this time.

The ten song album touches on subjects ranging from body image to anxiety to figuring out life, and during the prolonged period of self-isolation due to the ongoing global pandemic, Malco’s work is more expressive of the individual in this changing world. For good or better, the world has changed but what about the lonely soul within it.

Take the track ‘Fractures’ a song where Malco comes to terms with becoming who she is supposed to be, in contrast to the world’s expected view of her. She admits that she struggles with how people perceive her and embracing her true self as this introvert but gifted individual.

Starting with the fiery opening track ‘Animal’ Malco provides a bolt of bracing rock and roll showing her knack for a good riff and winning vocals while telling a story about being looked at and being unnerved.  Malco is writing as much about personal experience as well as universal themes for all women.

Katie Malco is one to watch

This is another remarkable album by a female singer-songwriter following in the footsteps this year of Margaret Glaspy and Jane Herships, seemingly the most appealing works of this year about identity and belonging are coming from women with a guitar. There is a power to this individual standing proud and saying look at me, this is me, take it or leave it.

The next track is the sumptuous ‘Brooklyn’, a gorgeous track about friendship and this place that will come between people with ambitions and those who are happy to settle where they are. Sometimes people have to spread their wings and leave the bosom of home, for others it is scary to leave that comfort of home.

On her bandcamp page it mentions she has toured with luminaries such as Bob Mould and I was struck at how her playing and sound is reminiscent of Mould in that the songs start of contemplative before becoming this roar of emotion and determination. If you have never heard of Bob Mould, check out his album ‘District Line’ which is a great forgotten album – raw emotion embues through that record.

One of the more unsung tracks of the album could well be ‘September’ a song that has a stand alone sound of defiance ‘I don’t care about you, you sure don’t care about me‘ ringing out as the song reaches the crescendo.

In conclusion, Failures is a album of great intent, passion and fearlessness by a songwriter willing to bear their soul on a record.

Failures is out from 6131 records on 5th June.

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