Kat Niles is an LA-based singer-songwriter and composer whose work is a study in contradiction. She draws inspiration from the music of her childhood — Townes Van Zandt, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, medieval motets and choral pieces, and Britney Spears. Her lyrics are influenced by magical realism and the literary works of Virginia Woolf and Clarice Lispector. Her unruly and experimental song structures are populated with riffs and melodies that never lose their pop sensibility, as songs criss-cross entire landscapes in small timespans with the aid of ecstatic and frenetic arrangements. On work that evokes both the mysticism and the grind of daily life, her voice moves with elastic precision from warm depths to high, clear peaks. All of these moods and qualities come together in a beautiful three-song debut EP, Cool Air, due on April 28, 2023.
Lead single “Oblivion” drives the listener down a desert highway beneath a full moon. Niles’s haunting guitar solos break through the propulsive rhythm like flashes of epiphany. “Fledgling Season” is a meditation on the reckless abundance of spring — the profusion of life and mortality summed up in the image of a naked baby pigeon body on a Brooklyn sidewalk. A tumult of strings and drums crescendos as Niles tries to negotiate with the indifference of nature.
Going for adds 4/4