[2015.11.02] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.
For playing music live in Newcastle for the best part of a decade, you will most likely recognise Kate Edwards; either from her singing and keyboard melodies in local pride, Brilliant Mind, or from her own writing and performing (often with other musicians) under the moniker Agerskow. Over the last year of so, Edwards has relaxed her performance schedule to allow natural changes in her relationship with her music to take place, and to hone this new centre from which to work from. Now, she is ready to come out from the chrysalis.
Highlighting this change, Every Key is Edwards’ first release in her own name. Entering a whirlwind of culture surrounding music in the heart of Newcastle at a young age, Edwards has stood strong in that weather, with her sustained passion to play music, rolling with the blessings and the challenges alike. She has melted these experiences into the foundation of her strength, which has now, at last, brought her the confidence to release music as herself, undisguised. Edwards explains how this latest song mirrors some of her own feelings about the searching she has done with her music. “That feeling…” she ponders. “You start somewhere, and you go around the houses, and just experiment; doing this, that… discovering everything, and trying out everything, and then, eventually, you realise, you kind of had it before anyway. It was always there.”
This restoration of self-belief is tangible in the flow of this track. Every Key starts measured and careful, with sparse piano chords, and Edwards’ lilting and crisp voice laying forth the central dilemma, but as it travels, bass guitar and Tom-Tom percussion add a determined heartbeat to the texture and become a thrusting march for our singer. As sustained backing vocals and glissando chiming join the orchestration, the spirit is risen to the finish. Every Key came from a progression Edwards recorded onto her phone and “just sort of forgot about” but when returning to her voice-memo’s she kept stumbling upon it, and realised “that’s really catchy, I’m going to have to develop that more.”
Accompanying this release, is Sticky Strawberry Blood, a wonderful peculiarity which takes full pleasure in suspending its melodies over shimmering guitar patterns, with playful pizzicato violin and percussion tempting the melodies to the tonic at the refrains.
These tracks were recorded by The Mistakable Sound Of - a portable studio, run by Marc Bird, and mastered by Edwards’ brother Alex. In this latest phase of creativity, Edwards’ energy has catalysed the capture of more recorded music already. She has set aside these songs, which explore different moods, for a release next year.
Every Key will be available to download from 4th December, but Edwards will be having an intimate launch for the single at The Ouseburn Farm on Sunday 6th December. Support will come from local troubadour Trev Gibb, and Patrick Lawrence, who is commonly known for playing violin in many bands around Newcastle, but here you will get to hear him in focus.