Follow Us on Twitter

Kate Walsh - Tim's House

Kate Walsh, Tim's House

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

KATE Walsh became a true internet phenomenon when, at 23, she recorded her debut album in a friend’s bedroom with a guitar and named it Tim’s House in his honour.

She then formed her own record label – called Blueberry Pie – in a bid to make sure her gentle folk songs reached the public and put her work on the internet, first utilising MySpace and then persuading iTunes to sell them too. The rest, to coin a phrase, is history.

She quickly captured the No.1 slot on the iTunes UK Hot 100 albums and followed that by securing the top spot on the US iTunes Folk Chart, leapfrogging over established artists such as Kaiser Chiefs, Arcade Fire and Amy Winehouse through the massive word of mouth digital buzz.

She has since signed to Mercury Records and now releases Tim’s House physically into stores on the same day as her debut single, Your Song.

Incredibly, the success hasn’t stopped there. Your Song quickly captured America’s imagination and with its achingly beautiful folksy melodies and cinematic style, it was snapped up to be used on Private Practice, the spin-off show to Grey’s Anatomy featuring, ironically, US actress Kate Walsh in the lead role.

It’s a million miles from singer Kate Walsh’s background as a classically trained pianist from Brighton who maintains her songs are inspired by Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex, a seaside town where she grew up and still has family.

But it’s a measure of the easy accessibility of her songwriting and the lush melodies she incorporates throughout that she has been able to rise so qucickly. Her music may be easily compared to the likes of Katie Melua and Norah Jones, but there’s a deeply personal feel to them that only increases the warmth and/or sadness surrounding them.

Songs to listen out for include Talk Of The Town, with its nicely delivered chorus; Don’t Break My Heart, with its – ahem – heartbreaking sentiment and stripped back delivery, and Betty, with its emotive early strings and melancholy guitar chords.

The first half of the album is particularly slow-burning, and deliberately so. But it then unfolds into beautiful life with tracks like Bury My Head, a lusher, fuller sounding record that finds Walsh’s vocals at their most swoonsome. It’s a brilliant love song, albeit laced with sadness.

French Song, meanwhile, flirts with some European sensibilities musically and contains another lovely vocal, while closing tracks Goldfish and Fireworks drip with tenderness and fragile beauty. At heart, though, they reflect Walsh’s background and benefit from their personal approach.

It’s clear that Walsh is a major new talent who is going to be with us for a long while yet.

Download picks: Talk Of The Town, Your Song, Betty, French Song, Bury My Head

Track listing:

  1. Your Song
  2. Talk Of The Town
  3. Is This It
  4. Don’t Break My Heart
  5. Betty
  6. Bury My Head
  7. French Song
  8. Tonight
  9. Goldfish
  10. Fireworks