Get To Know: The Renaissance Of Katie Cruel & Her New Mark Howard-Produced Single ‘Desert Valley Nights’

Some artists have a sound that pulls you in from the moment the song begins. Sometimes it’s strikingly unique, sometimes it’s pristinely crafted, and in the case of Katie Cruel, it’s both.

Based in Toronto, Katie Cruel creates music that combines qualities of folk rock, roots rock, blues, and country to create an alluring, dreamy, and timeless sound. Her debut release, “Desert Valley Nights,” which dropped July 5th, demonstrates all of these traits. Through the mesmerizing lyrics, classic and heavy bass rhythms, and calming vocals, Cruel has similar qualities to icons like Stevie Nicks and Fiona Apple. 

After opening for artists like Wilco, Mazzy Star, and The Pernice Brothers, Cruel joined forces with Mark Howard, an acclaimed Grammy-winning producer with a discography packed with the heaviest of hitters like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, U2, and Neil Young among many others. Her work with Howard has led to a debut track in “Desert Valley Nights” that is familiarly and skillfully crafted, while carrying with it the authenticity of Cruel’s voice.

Though it’s a debut single, by no means is this the artist’s first introduction to the music world.

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“Desert Valley Nights”

Before the recent emergence of Katie Cruel, she performed as Kate Boothman. Though she’s had a Renaissance of sorts, her music still packs with it the same hazy beauty and charm as heard in “Desert Valley Nights.” She took on the moniker of Katie Cruel in honor of the traditional folk song of the same name, which “tells the tale of a woman who falls out of favor with those who once celebrated her wild charms.” Her sound beautifully reflects the feeling of longing and desire that clouds the history of her artist name.

Cruel’s upcoming record, Lost Vagus, is an “intoxicating collection of tainted love songs,” also all produced by Howard. On the album, Cruel and Howard produce an unquestionable synergy that elevates her deceptively simple and subtly layered songs into uncharted territory.

The record was sparked by their serendipitous meeting, and the discovery of Cruel’s antique 1930’s Gibson guitar. This encounter led to Cruel and Howard heading into the studio to record a live-off-the-floor record that became Lost Vagus.

And with “Desert Valley Nights,” we get an enticing appetizer into what Cruel’s debut album will sound like.

She will be touring throughout the summer across Ontario ahead of the release of her new album, which is set to release in September.

Tour Dates

* July 15 – Hamilton, On.

The Casbah (matinee show)

* July 16 – Oshawa, On.

The Biltmore Theatre

* July 18 –  Peterborough, On.

The Gordon Best Theatre

* July 19 – Toronto, On

The Dakota Tavern (early and late show)

* July 20 – Ottawa, On

The 27 Club

* July 21 – Prince Edward County, On

The Hayloft Dancehall

* supporting Timber Timbre

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