KATEY BROOKS, “In Your Arms”
Folk music is hardly what I would call a genre that I actively listen to a lot, but much of today’s pop music was founded on what we would now call the music of folk singers who long preceded the pop and rock era (say, before 1955). And when a voice is as commanding as that of British singer and guitarist Katey Brooks, then I want you to know about it! You may hear, as I did, potential influences from classic singers like Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins or Stevie Nicks in “In Your Arms”. The song starts off so quietly as if to not really want to grab your attention. But once you start hearing the story, her voice becomes an expressive charmer – duly compared to Florence Welch for power – and there is no turning back. And then, a bit more than 3 minutes later, the song just stops tidily, leaving you to ponder. Even though she is British, Katey’s music reminds me of how the songs and poetry of Patti Smith somewhat symbiotically connected with the rock audience of the late 70’s. In today’s alt-pop and alt-rock, which includes folk music, you’ll find other talented women, and Katey Brooks can certainly compete with the best of them.