Local Love: Kay Weathers
Kay Weathers, Photo: Scott Harrell
The influx of artists going the “one member” route in today’s music world is pretty amazing. I remember when bands were on the fence about going the route of the power trio, but with technology and our understanding of it; today an act can go solo and still sound amazing in the process. When I think of someone going this path, there are plenty of artists that come to mind, though Kay Weathers is one at the top of that list. When the sole member of Kay Weathers, Jennifer O’Brien left Houston for Louisiana, I was puzzled as to how she’d finish her EP that she started before she left. What’s resulted after a year of traveling back and forth between Louisiana and the historic walls of Josh Applebee’s room at SugarHill is one of the most magical solo efforts you can hear. The magnetic way she approaches each track on “Songs For Lucy,” makes you wish that more solo artists would place such emphasis in everything they release.
At the album’s core, the songs are guitars and drums essentially, but the looping techniques she employs on the opener, “Bored Games” has a deeper feeling than just the two instruments. The depth of her vocals complete with a lush reverb attached and this thick echo atop the guitar and beat makes the song feel heavier than it actually is. The dreary haze of the effects placed on each guitar track leaves you drunk with emotion, while she zigzags her way through the effects like she’s trying to find her way through a foggy maze. The Mary Lou Lord sounding opening of the following track “Revel” leads you to believe that Weathers is more than just a solo act. A bold piano and two different guitar tracks add to the mystique she crafts, while the song almost lulls along like a lullaby sung to children. There’s a dissonance found on the song that feels like the lyrics are coming from a place deeper than you’ll ever know, while a pedal heavy guitar cuts through everything to take the track to a new place before closing off.
Weathers follows this with the most earnest sounding song of the five, “Lucy.” What comes off as a mix of love song and devotional plea, there’s a whimsical guitar met with strings while Weathers’ vocals dance throughout it all like an emotionally charged narrator. The song in many ways reminds me of early Morrissey songs where the repetitive nature of the vocals carry more weight than if anyone else sang them. The fourth song, “Given” is more stripped down, where Weathers’ vocals are the primary instrument. A soft harpsichord and a stripped down beat keep the pace while her mystical vocals really seem to take shape and go further than anywhere else on the release. She makes you feel okay with doing things your own way, as the route she takes in the song’s approach feels like a path only she could take and conquer overall. The final track, “Burnout” is more grandiose in instrumentation and approach. The vocals are more minimalized, creating a stronger feel when they appear on and off the song. Her guitar work complete with spacy backing vocals feel closer to a waking dream than any other song contained on the album. The end result of the additional instrumentation and her bold vocal choices makes the song stand out like an anthem for the ambitious.
When the album reaches it’s end, you left a little mesmerized. In under twenty minutes, Weathers takes you to a world where you didn’t know existed, but you’re more than happy to take the journey to again and again. You can hear “Songs For Lucy” live when Kay Weathers performs her EP release party at Nightingale Room on Wednesday March 23rd. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00, she’ll have special guests on the bill with her, and it’s 100% FREE.