Katie Cole

Watch out for Katie Cole! She may sneak up on you.

It's easy to hear her music and quickly dismiss her as a Taylor Swift wannabe, as generally uninteresting as that idea is. However, after listening for a bit, I discovered that Cole has a lot more to offer, a pop\country\singer-songwriter blend with plenty of mainstream appeal, while still having indie intrigue.

Often, her tracks sound like deconstructed 80s power-pop, replacing indulgent overproduction with intelligent, tasteful modifications that keep her songs flowing along nicely. An emphasis voice and guitar emphasis keep her grounded in the human and the reality of day-to-day emotional life.

The production isn't just random beeps and flourishes inserted to be trendy; the electronic and string lines are actual parts, creating counterpoints and actually adding to the song composition. Her “Lost Inside a Moment,” which was featured on BBC2 radio, perfectly illustrates this with lovely little string lines that support the song internally. Such intelligent songwriting is a rarity these days, and is just one of the aspects that helps Katie Cole's music rise above the pack.

“Breakout” is another standout among her recent tracks, laying light electronic dance lines beneath lyrics and songwriting that might have been acoustic Lilith Fair fodder. However, they're integrated well enough that they don't interfere, and other touches like tubular bells come in to give it further depth beyond what you'd expect from most female pop.

Katie Cole ties it all together with a beautiful voice that can do everything from soulful lamenting to a bit of a coy country twang, creating a real “total package” that can turn heads in the music industry. She has a world of potential – she just needs a hit or two to cement herself in current pop!