It’s baffleing that Dido should have made a planet-eating virtue out of chronic musical anaemia considering that there’s plenty of lady singer-songwriters about who do similar but with edge, charisma and soul. People like Canada’s Kate Rogers. Tempted to the UK by northern hip-hoppers Grand Central, Kate’s vocal on Aim’s legendary tearjerker ‘Sail’ made the names of both artists and, to some extent, the label itself. They rewarded her with a solo deal, and while ‘St. Eustacia’ glows with the same kooky charm, she’s a far more rustic proposition alone. Teeming with log-cabin guitars and eerie percussion, the whole thing is imbued with an innocence that means the songs of love gone right (‘Welcome’) and wrong (‘Not Ten Years Ago’_ sound more directed to best friends than to lovers. Meanwhile, Kate’s sharp Canadian vowels make the whole thing exotic enough to stay enchanting. No rock’n’roll fun here, but planty to cuddle up to. Dan Martin
For a Canadian, Kate Rogers has the contemporary Bristish female vocalist act down pat. Sounding remarkable like a jazzier Dido, Rogers pours out her heart on swingy tracks like “Not Ten Years Ago” and “Sidelines,” though the dark “Nothing Appeals To Me Here, ” with its Eastern feel, is slightly out of place among her lighter tunes. Rogers shows her weak side on “Mighty,” pleading for the return of a lost lover while a delicate piano line adds to the background folk melodies. Like a candy apple with hidden razor blades, this chanteuse sounds remarkably innocent until you notice the sharp edges. – CH
Rogers’ pure, clear vocals have graced tracks by Aim and Rae & Christian, but her true calling is a fine singer-songwriter in the classic style. On numerous tracks here, her sophisticated folk-influenced pop explores emotional landscapes with controlled power, and little concession to fashion.
Kate Rogers – St. Eustacia (Grand Central)
Aim chanteuse braves the singer-songwriter path alone 4/5 stars
Grand Central has always had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to female vocalists, with both Veba and Kate Rogers soaring over their beats, and finally one has released an album in her own right. Kate is best know for tracks like Aim’s ‘the Girl That Fell Through Th Ice’ and Rae & Christian’s ‘Not Just Anybody’, but left to her own devices, she ploughs an angsty melancolic folk furrow. Initially perfectly pleasant, over time St. Eustacia reveals its more endearing nuances, through more off-kilter moments like ‘Nothing Appeals To Me Here’. Could it be that while all the majors were out searching for the new Dido Grand Central tripped over her on their own doorstep?
She has lent her voice to the likes of label-mate Aim, but Canadian chanteuse Kate Rogers has finally released a record in her own right. And what a record. St. Eustacia would be little more than an average collection of polished folk-pop, were it not for a couple of extraordinary off-beat arrangements, including the cinematic “Nothing Appeals To Me Here”. Rogers sets her emotionally raw lyrics against pared-down guitars, piano and the odd electronic bear. A stunning debut. Henrietta Roussoulis