For all the wealth of musical talent flooding out of Bristol at this current moment, there doesn’t seem to be anyone more poised to hit the big time than Katy J Pearson. Having begun her ascent during the pandemic, grabbing plenty of attention with a slew of singles and debut album ‘Return’, hearts were truly won over when she blew many a festival audience away last summer. Instantly bursting with charm and a buoyance in her earnest songwriting, Katy’s music presents itself as a beacon of light in dark times.
Barely taking a breather in between the debut, touring and contributing to a host of other projects, you can hardly call the announcement of a new album a return for Katy J Pearson, but latest single ‘Game of Cards’ feels more akin to an artistic growth. Continuing her rich vein of form from previous teaser ‘Talk Over Town’, we’re treated to a more contemplative side to her songwriting; one that feels ready to explore new grounds and expand horizons. The alt-country flair is still present from earlier work, but there is a new sheen to the production which elevates the track with flourishes of sax and multi-layered harmonies.
Though initially penned a couple of years ago alongside former collaborator Ben Hambro (previously of Lazarus Kane), ‘Game of Cards’ took two years for it to find its true form as it is now. With some additional help from Dan Carey, the track demonstrates this progression that Katy has gone through, displaying not just a sense of maturity in the composition but in the lyrical themes. While many praised her earlier work for appearing wise beyond its years, the vulnerability on show in this instance proves that it was no fluke on her first outing, as she sings about the trappings of romance and new relationships as though it were a card game that depends on the luck of the hand you’re dealt.
There’s no doubt that soaring choruses and grand climaxes are something Katy executes majestically on every occasion, and there’s something assuring about hearing someone be able to repeat that feat time and time again. From the high benchmark set by these first two singles, the sophomore album ‘Sound of the Morning’ is set to be a treat.
Issue Thirty-Seven is out now Ft. Porridge Radio, Crows, Folly Group, The Dinner Party, Automatic, Gently Tender, headboy and more. Buy in print here. Read the digital edition below.