Mackenzie Cummings-Grady Journal Staff
With acts like Katy Perry and Ke$ha still reigning queens of power pop, no other female musical act has seemed to match up in the same genre. Wannabes like Lily Allen and Kat Graham struggle for oxygen amongst the growing popularity and replay value of “Die Young” and “Wide Awake.” A change in swagger is sometimes needed to get to the top of the Billboard charts. While the name may seem unfamiliar now, Kat Edmonson’s new release “Way Down Low” is already beginning to crawl its way to the number one spot. With her voice sinking somewhere between the sound of Lana Del Ray and Ingrid Michelson, Edmonson’s jazz-influenced falsetto is sweet on the ears and is emphasized by the very quiet guitar strums and percussion taps relaxing behind her. When it comes to instrumentals, sometimes less is more, and it’s clear by hearing Edmonson’s voice that she does not need the dance crunches of Ke$ha to carry a song.
Coming out of Austin, Texas Edmonson released her debut album “Touch The Sky,” consisting solely of covers by previous jazz acts such as Louie Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. Her new album has received immense praise from the New York Times and Boston Globe and is currently number one on the Singer/Songwriter chart on iTunes. The opener and first single “Lucky” gives the lighthearted appeal of Ingrid Michelson as Edmonson sings about a tender love. She dives more into jazz with gems “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” and “What Else Can I Do?” If jazz is not the top genre of your choice, the time should still be taken to listen to the beautiful duet with Lyle Lovett “Long Way Home” as it is the most well constructed track on the album.
Everyone owes it to himself or herself to give Kat Edmonson a chance. She is unique and confident in her sound, a swagger that is hard to find amongst the pop acts of 2013. Like Lily Allen and Kat Graham, she could fade into black. However if she heads to a major label for her next release, expect only big things to come from the smooth sounding Texan. If anything, “Way Down Low” will become the essential soundtrack to a relaxing night of Bon Bon’s and scented candles; that counts for something.