FAME Recommends: Katie Melua – ‘The House’

‘The House’ is Katie Melua’s new, and fourth, album and sees the 25 year old drawing from a broad pool of inspiration to write and record an album that is both musically adventurous and lyrically expressive.

Whilst Katie’s previous three albums, ‘Call Off The Search’, ‘Piece By Piece’ and ‘Pictures’, established her as an extraordinarily gifted vocalist – after her concert at London’s O2 Arena The Times wrote “her voice is rarely short of astounding” – ‘The House’ reveals an artist’s desire to evolve and explore.
The record is produced by William Orbit, who came out of his self-imposed retirement as a producer to work with Katie.

Famed for her ballads Katie does not disappoint with the delicacy of ‘Red Balloons’, wounded intrigue of ‘I’d Love To Kill You’, definitive love of ‘No Fear Of Heights’ and tragic betrayal of the title track. And Katie’s interpretation of ‘The One I Love Is Gone’, written by “the father of bluegrass” Bill Monroe, is simply stunning.
It is, perhaps, on the more up-tempo songs that Katie’s exciting creative trajectory is most apparent. ‘Tiny Alien’’s charming off-kilter folk and the warped electro rock of ‘God On The Drums, Devil On The Bass’ sit alongside the intoxicating brightness of ‘A Happy Place’ and the Berlin-burlesque of ‘A Moment of Madness’.

Meanwhile the hypnotic ‘Twisted’ and orchestral-pop of ‘Plague Of Love’ complement the epic insistence and drama of new single ‘The Flood’.

“In addition to being inspired by the values in music from the past, I wanted to embrace the future. First, by accepting the values that are treasured more in music today and by projecting them forward.

I found if you went far enough in both directions you end up in the same place. This thought was so liberating it enabled me to be a lot more fearless with expressing emotions, with challenging conventional structures of song and, finally, still allowing simplicity to stir the soul, as it so often does.” explains Katie.

With the exception of ‘The One I Love Is Gone’ Katie has written or co-written all the songs on ‘The House’.

In addition to the five tracks written with Guy Chambers, Katie teamed up with singer-songwriter and long-time friend Polly Scattergood on ‘Red Balloons’, with Rick Nowels on ‘Twisted’ and ‘Plague Of Love’ and with her manager Mike Batt on ‘God On The Drums, Devil On The Bass’. As well as being the executive producer of the album, Mike was recruited by William for the record’s orchestral arrangements.

‘The Flood’ was one of the songs that enticed William Orbit out of his retirement: “I was captivated by Katie’s voice when I first heard her demos in October last year and, although not having been involved in record production for some time, felt that I just had to work with her. It turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and a pleasure from start to finish.” recalls William.

“When I first started working with Katie, I posted on Twitter that there was some pure magic about the sessions. As the album progressed I felt this magical quality more and more and I believe that the record that she has made is very special indeed.”

Written by Katie, Guy and Lauren Christy, ‘The Flood’ has already received airplay on Radio 2, with presenter Janice Long declaring it as being “the best thing Katie’s done….” Speaking about writing with Katie, Guy says: “Working with Katie has been a deeply rewarding experience as she approaches music with a natural curiosity that is very creative. The songs all tell a story and go to places that some artists would be afraid to go.”

For Katie, writing and recording the record has been a revelation “Being in the studio with Mike over the last seven years has been incredible. I’ve been very lucky to have written and recorded with someone who has a wealth of experience and was able to give me such undivided attention. I’ve learned so much and, being on the road for the last three years, I’ve had time to digest what I’ve learned and to experiment with who I am as a writer.”

One of Britain’s most successful artists of the past decade, the release of ‘The House’ heralds a new phase in Katie’s musical career. As William himself said: “one of the delights of knowing Katie is wondering just where she will go to next”.

Katie has announced an extensive European tour for autumn 2010 which will include 13 shows in Britain in December. She will also be playing at festivals and outdoor concerts this summer including Thetford Forest on July 10th.

Katie Melua
‘The House’
UK Release May 24th 2010
Including the new single ‘The Flood’ – released May 17th

On Dramatico Entertainment