Taking us across the pond to Manchester, England, Katie O’Malley brings her band on the road by blending blues, soul, country, and rock, extracted by her love of 70s music.
Already supported by Americana UK and winning BCA Country Artiste in 2019, the emotion and vulnerability O’Malley offers through her voice as described by Louder Than War is simply- powerful. Having played her share of festivals and shows, her gravelly vocals resonate throughout the venues, emulating that of a Stevie Nicks with a punchy energy. BBC Introducing Manchester along with country stations throughout the UK, America, and Australia have also championed the band by offering radio airplay.
Confident and bold, “Taste the Dirt” is the newest addition to O’Malley’s catalog, revealing her strength even within the beginning guitar solos. Rock with a touch of soul, the headbanger is one that would be a thrill to hear live. The passion oozes through the energetic and dynamic instrumentation, aligning with the lyric, “I just want to feel alive”. The chorus vibrates with, “It hits you hard sometimes, when you put yourself on the line…you get knocked back and taste the dirt”. The smooth rasp gives way to a wide vocal range that effectively portrays each genre, while the tension rises with the emotion she lends from her heart.
Taking it back to 2014, her very first single, “Beg,” hit the airwaves, adding more of a singer-songwriter touch that showcases her lyrical storytelling. Her next 2017 folk track, “Dawn Chorus,” enchants listeners with her deep husky vibratos that play well with her delightfully detectable British accent.
2018 then saw the release of Never Be the Same, a five-song country EP of a darker version of Americana hip-swaying music, with the title track touching on a more somber idea of growing from the pain we all experience at some point in our lives. That doesn’t stop her from having fun with the acoustic tempos, though. Also featured on the project is the single “Heart of Gold” and “Got a Love”, a sweet melody of searching for something irreplaceable.
The end of 2019 closed out with “Wasting Time”, leading into “Yoshino” early of last year, with a heaviness that makes you feel the weight of her lyrics. Speaking about the single to Louder Than War, she explained, “I wrote the song at a time when I felt like I had lost my way a bit and was feeling down. Not only in myself but in the world and its goings-on. Yoshino is a mountain in Japan that is rumoured for its beauty and the cherry blossoms that grow there. Yoshino to me represents this perfectly peaceful place. I feel everyone hopes to have moments in life of being truly happy and content and even though our lives are filled with a lot of rubbish hopefully we can all find our piece of Yoshino that we’re searching for”.
Collaborating with producer Simone Dine and Adam Lewis from the Manchester band The Watchmakers, their song “Piece of the Pie” got featured on the summer 2020 film Kissing Booth 2. As the movie gained over 66 million views in its first week of broadcast, O’Malley continues to gather accolades as her soulful country single “Wild West” has gained over 20,000 streams on Spotify and saw more support from Americana UK, Chris Country Radio, and BCMA.
The rawness in O’Malley’s storytelling will only continue to hit milestones and create a larger authentic community as time goes on.