Review : Katie Herzig - Apple Tree
SlantmagazineNashville singer-songwriter Katie Herzig's third solo effort, Apple Tree, has been released in fits and starts over the course of the last year; such is the slow-burning reality of independently releasing one's music. The album, however, is Herzig's most accessible to date, with Grammy-winning Alison Krauss producer Gary Paczosa on the mixing board and contributions from the likes of pop band the Fray and country songwriter Kim Richey, among others. The result is a collection of measured folk waltzes whose hooks burst with the energy of Top 40 pop songs, the most immediate of which—"Songbird," "I Want to Belong to You," and "Hologram"—are wisely stacked at the front end of the record. Most of the songs on the album deal with arduously acquiring or letting go of love ("I'm in a love affair without a love song/I'm in the habit of having what I don't want," Herzig sings on "Hologram," a potential sleeper hit radio programmers would be wise to add to their playlists this summer), and love is even likened to a pilgrimage to the New World on "How the West Was Won." Herzig's voice is reminiscent of Tanya Donelly's, at turns plaintive ("Wish You Well") and playful (closing track "Forevermore" has a decided nursery-rhyme quality to it). Despite its lovely melody, "I Hurt Too" borders on saccharine, but Apple Tree is filled with low-lying songs ripe for the picking....full text
Bullz-eyeBeing that Katie Herzig’s career has been amazingly successful so far, there’s naturally a certain level of expectations for her new effort, Apple Tree -- the sort of anticipation that greets any relatively new artist who’s been critically acclaimed, but still drifts well below the surface as far as the masses are concerned. Having been hailed by the press as one to watch, and attracting the kind of buzz that usually indicates an imminent breakthrough, Herzig’s been wise to plot her course carefully. While it may have been tempting to up the ante on production values and forsake her usual breathy delivery in hopes of making her music a bit more radio-ready, she’s chosen instead to stay faithful to both her muse and motif. It’s fortuitous, then, that she continues to maintain her carefree sway and swoon through a set of songs that proves to be her strongest effort yet.
Herzig’s trajectory began as a member of the Colorado combo Newcomers Home, whose numerous albums provided an apt launching pad for her animated and expressive style. Her first solo effort, Watch Them Fall, attracted further notice, but it was Weightless, its follow-up, that proved the worth of her songwriting, and eventually gained her entry onto NPR, KCRW’s prestigious "Morning Becomes Eclectic" program and primetime exposure through NBC’s hit drama "Grey’s Anatomy." Featured status on the "Ten out of Tenn" and "Hotel Café" tours, and supporting roles for Dar Williams and Shawn Colvin, elevated her further into the spotlight and helped shore up her status....full text
WomenfolkI was extremely pleased when I learned that Nashville based songwriter, Katie Herzig had a new album on the horizon a couple of months ago. Her previous releases, 2004’s Watch Them Fall and 2006’s Weightless, are beauties to behold and I anticipated that her latest, Apple Tree, would be of the same vein. And I was right.
From start to finish, Apple Tree firmly stands as something Herzig should be proud of, as it’s quite possibly her best album to date. She’s managed to blend her honey-sweet voice and superb songwriting skills to make an album bountiful with both playful energy and heartfelt, lyrically rich songs.
The album opens with ‘Songbird,’ a swaying, bittersweet ode to missed love in which Herzig sings, “She lays her head upon your shoulder / But all I see is the way that you hold her / You live in your house with a beautiful view / And I live in your apple tree.”
One will find pure, satisfying pop in ‘Hologram,’ which serves as one of Herzig’s loudest songs to date. But she delivers it flawlessly, giving the song an indescribable energy that needs to be listened to multiple times. But on ‘How The West Was Won,’ Herzig still mesmerizes, turning a softly brushed love song into delicate foot-tapper....full text
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