“They’re coming for us,” sings Cherry Hill, NJ’s Katie Miller (who performs as Kate Dressed Up) on “This Time Tomorrow,” the leadoff track of her eponymous new EP. It’s a compelling, almost paranoid lyrical start to a pleasant acoustic waltz in C major. But as the song begins to lure us into its universe, we’re served a dose of empathy: “The world says we’re crooks / But if only they’d look / At our hope and our fear and our sorrow…” It’s not desperation that compels the characters in this song, it’s opportunism; getting while the getting is good, even as moving on becomes tougher each time out.
Across Kate Dressed Up’s five songs, Miller unpacks everything that makes her an intriguing new presence: a studious approach to the guitar, the marriage of acoustic and digital, and a pitch-perfect voice which lands somewhere between Eva Cassidy and Laura Nyro. While the EP is decidedly a homespun affair, its “in the room” warmth and approachability is augmented by light production touches; some electronic percussion here, handclaps there, bass, mandolin, and Miller’s bluesy lead-playing. Songs tumble forward, unfolding slowly to reveal lush, circular melodies not unlike Bon Iver’s For Emma or Hem’s countrypolitan masterwork, Rabbit Songs.
While Kate Dressed Up is not Miller’s debut (that honor belongs to a three-song affair called What I Am, issued in 2012), it marks the arrival of an undeniably talented songwriter. And this new EP is a welcoming record which continues to yield its rewards across repeated listening.
Miller will be celebrating the release of Kate Dressed Up on Wednesday September 28th, at Coffee Works in Voorhees, NJ at 7:00pm. She’ll be supported by Wisteria and Brianna Vacca. Admission is $5.00 for this all-ages show. After that, she’ll be hitting the road for a mini-tour that will see its way through Vermont, Upstate New York, and Pennsylvania.
Who: Kate Dressed Up
Where & When: Coffee Works, Voorhees, NJ || September 28th, 7:00pm
Copyright, You Don’t Know Jersey, LLC (2010-2020)
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