One thing about Philly musician Kate Faust that cannot be denied: the woman has range. That’s in the sense of her vocals – a couple octaves, at least – as well as her ability to bounce between styles. When we met her, she sang backup in the lively but short-lived ragtime-rock outfit Perkasie, who played a great set at XPoNential Music Festival in 2008; a year later, she’d moved on to a longer stint with soul-blues troopers Toy Soldiers, which at that time were rocking an eleven-piece configuration. Lady followed, which was the first project she fronted and which delved into even more eclectic worlds, drawing influence from torch-song jazz to Tropicalia, and a lot in between (download their Key Studio Sesison from 2011 here).
This year, she released music under her own name for the first time, the Crucial Companion EP, and it’s another stylistic 180. With her signature soaring and emotive vocals over an alluring electropop undercurrent, this is the stuff of Bjork and Kate Bush: very evocative, very emotional, very cool. Live, she performs with two backing players – Jonathan Colman on bass and Justin Lee on drums – and they add a solid down-to-earth texture to Faust’s otherworldly songs. Their Key Studio Session includes three songs from Crucial, as well as two new ones – the sleek groove of “In Bloom”, the solo tearjerker “Torture” – providing a taste of what’s to come when Faust and her band play MilkBoy next Saturday, the 14th of September. Tickets and information on the show can be found here; stream and download the session below.
Kate Faust, Milkboy, The Key Studio Sessions