It’s no secret we love a good pop singer/songwriter here at Audio I.V. And in honor of that love today’s featured artist is none other than Hermosa Beach cutie, Katie Costello.
A serious musician from an early age, Costello has made some serious waves for a 20-year-old. Her quirky vocals and clever lyrics landed her tunes on numerous TV networks including CW and ABC, and got her featured on LA’s KCRW as a ‘Top Tune of the Day’. She’s been in Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, and Paste Magazine to name a few, and her cover of Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” is currently featured on Bilboard’s Mashup Mondays here.
Hype aside, Katies most alluring feature is undoubtedly her unique voice. A blend of Sara Bareilles, KT Tunstall and Ingrid Michaelson, Costello’s tone has the ability to pierce right through you, and then softly woo’s you over. Her control is uncanny, and her delicate vibrato brings each note to life with an effortless simplicity.
Then there’s her incredible talent for songwriting. She began putting pen to paper at just 13, and credits her music-writing as the catalyst that would ultimately prepare her for the public eye. (read the full interview on spinner.com here) Her lyrics are generally simple, but strung together with obvious intention and generous consideration for phrasing, and her melodies are anything but predictable.
The first single off her new full-length, Lamplight is “Cassette Tape” and we think it’s a perfect example of the types of songs you’ll find on the record. An homage to all those faceless friends in your social network, this quirky little ditty is reminiscent of early Ingrid Michaelson, and is quite a challenge to listen to without taping a toe or two. Another stand out from Katie is “City Scapes” which can be found on her recent EP, The City In Me. About as ballad-like as Costello gets, “City Scapes” moves delicately through arpeggiated verses and then jumps right into a punchy hook, telling darkly lit story of love and inspiration.
With three releases under her belt, Katie has a ton of music to choose from, but we recommend you start your journey with the most recent installment, Lamplight. You can find it on iTunes and anywhere else digital music is sold, or preview it on Katie’s MySpace here. The resources put into this record are obvious, and her songwriting really shines through. Especially on tracks like “Ashes Ashes” and “Out of Our Minds” where delicate melodies play with unconventional phrasing. Lamplight allows Katie’s voice to take on many forms as she bobs and weaves through the 12 tracks. She channels influences like Amie Mann and Fiona Apple, and straying only now and then from familiarity, and at times even sounding like a understated version of Katy Perry. (Think, “Not Like the Movies” or “Thinking of You”)
Regardless of influence, though, it’s clear, even upon first listen, that Katie is a true artist in every sense of the word. Her knack for word play and impressive melodic sensibilities have helped her carve a nice little niche for herself in the singer/songwriter world. In just a few short years Katie has accomplished what most musicians will only ever dream of, and her future looks nothing but bright.
We hope this little introduction will entice you to explore Katie’s world even more. Purchase Lamplight if you’re so inclined, and check out a show or two if you’re in the New York area. Until then, you can see the video for Katie’s new single, “Cassette Tape” below, and check back for more updates as they come.