Katie Stelmanis – “Join Us”

July 3, 2008

Katie Stelmanis

Armed with a classically trained voice and a spooky electronic sound, 23-year-old Katie Stelmanis makes me think of what Kate Bush might sound like if she collaborated with a robot and a ghost.

Yes, weird description but that’s what comes to mind when listening to Katie’s debut album, Join Us, right from the brilliant opening track “In My Favour” all the way through to the closing (and rather surprising) cover of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”.

Because this album is far from natural or organic in its sound: it’s rather harsh and metallic, and might challenge those who simply want to enjoy Katie’s beautiful, strong voice with its intensity. Sure, Join Us has some softer moments, but don’t be fooled: “You’ll Fall” starts off rather innocently only to turn out containing an ear shattering noise that could very well be used in torture.

Still, Join Us is nothing short of amazing. I’m glad that Katie took this route with her music, rather than the soft singer/songwriter sound which some might feel would showcase her voice better (and to a broader audience). The contrast between the computerized sound and Katie’s skilled vocals only enhance one another.

That, combined with a gallery of great songs makes Katie Stelmanis one of the most interesting and exciting debutantes of 2008. Or as it says on her MySpace: “STELMANIA!!”

~ “Join Us” ~

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