As musicians and music-listeners alike venture into a creative climate in which technological elements often define an artist’s sonic and visual identity, Katie Costello emerges as a unique and timeless example of an authentic artisan shinning amidst the frequently clouded backdrop of modernity. Almost as if her spirit has been frozen in another day and age, her perspective is one that far exceeds her surprisingly young age. She writes about the human condition – Our ever present desire to find peace, identity, home, and understanding.
Katie Costello’s most recent release “Lamplight” (2011), produced by Los Angeles-based music guru Tony Berg (Jesca Hoop, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn), reflects her distinctively conversational, yet poetic lyrical approach. Deeply personal, her songs are impressionistic and beckon to the lonely, disconnected nature of our times. Although initial listeners might find a carefree and happy-go-lucky element in her music, she writes songs that are meant to be revisited and experienced over and over again. Katie’s music seems to reward those who are searching and wanting something more than what is presented at the surface. Beyond their initially unique and eloquent phrasing, Katie’s lyrics comment upon the dark human issues we all undoubtably face. The first song on the record, “Cassette Tape,” humorously speaks of the frustrations regarding meeting both friends and lovers. With a lush and dirty-beautiful electric guitar backdrop, “Ashes Ashes” is empowering and moving in its commentary of self-actualization and mortality. “After Dark” paints a gray and painful landscape of a broken, seemingly infallible family relationship.
Each song seems to understand itself and does not fight to express its most profound or subtle concepts, regardless of how far below the surface they vibrate with intensity. There are strong elements of humor, loss, and subtle sarcasm that offer a different experience for each listener. Katie comments on the nature of full-length records by saying, “I think of every album as a very particular period of time and thematic contemplation in my life. I write what has happened to me and what I have felt, simply because I want to understand it. Songwriting is something that I happen to do and is not something that I regard with a great deal of personal responsibility. I thank the Universe for our human ability to create.” “Lamplight” reflects this desire to understand our existence, yet simultaneously expresses an understanding that the answers to our deepest questions can only be discussed, and not discovered.
Katie’s past release, “The City In Me” EP (2010), is a spirited, clever, and haunting collection of songs that chronicle Costello’s relationship with the concept of home, and with various cities (particularly New York and Los Angeles). Produced by one of Katie’s closest friends, current band member, and musical prodigy, David Lamoureux, the EP reflects the relaxed and creatively daring approach Katie and her collaborators bring to her sonic identity.
Released at the age of 17, Katie’s debut full-length record, “Kaleidoscope Machine” (2008), is a vibrant and refreshing collection of identity-searching compositions. Already at a young age, Katie’s perspective and creative mission can be heard in her music. Nic Harcourt of KCRW noticed her determined and innate creative nature by saying, “It’s good to know what one wants to be when one grows up. At 17, Hermosa Beach resident Katie Costello is making her path clear.”
Katie’s music is on KCRW (89.9 Santa Monica) “Morning Becomes Eclectic” and was chosen as their “KCRW Top Tune of the Day” free iTunes download. Her songs have been featured on the CW shows, “90210,” “One Tree Hill,” and ABC’s “Private Practice.” All of Katie’s work, “Kaleidoscope Machine,” “The City In Me” EP, and “Lamplight” are on iTunes and have been featured in various capacities. Her song “Isn’t It Lovely” was the grand-prize winner of Sennheiser’s “My Song Contest,” which also landed her a performance at the 2010 and 2011 NAMM conferences. Paste Magazine has featured her song “Inside Out” in their “New Music Sampler,” as well as Katie’s latest album “Lamplight” in their “Best Of What’s Next” piece. Katie’s music has been featured in both Teen Vogue and Marie Claire.
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