When Kate Ellis first emerged in 2017 it was something of a mystery, she arrived fully formed, no history in other bands, or dubious early singles. In many ways she shares a lot in common with another Kate ( Bush ) for she made an excellent album "Carve Me Out" and then apart from an odd live show or so she has maintained radio silence until now. Larger than life onstage and remarkably quiet almost shy off stage, she is undoubtedly an enigma.
!Another Way" is the opening single for her forthcoming second album "Spirals" and if you loved her rich talent for storytelling and seemingly effortless matching of words and tunes before, this opening single is going to whet the appetite for what is to come. for it is writing on another level really pushing the limits of what can be squeezed into a four minute tune.It spans generations and examines how your childhood reflects on how you will be as a parent and if its more than just blood that gets passed down the family line.
The lyrics open with Kate's father in his infancy
"The little boy he was loved but not quite good enough" where "his father touch was a little rough". It is undoubtedly a a hard upbringing which Kate is able to evoke brilliantly saying a lot within remarkably few words
"Fathers angry words playing on repeat, he never looked to deep inside for fear of what he'd see
and as soon as he'd get home he'd want to run away".
The years pass, though the enduring emotional damage , perfectly encapsulated by the lines
"He keeps his Southern whiskey and his bitterness on ice
and he railed at the injustice every day"
It follows through his life into relationships where although finding someone who loves him for what he is, he still considers himself to be "poorly made"
Each verse inextricably leads us back to leads us back to the title of the song reinforcing the point much as it did on "Ones You Love The Most" on the previous album, while the chorus sees Kate sympathising but not wanting to perpetuate his issues.
"I don't want to see, everything you see, even though your darkness stays a little piece of me
But now I know why you'd always turn away - despite trying every day, you couldn't see another way"
On this first single there's a shift in sonics from the earlier record, there is a much more pronounced keyboard sound prevails which will again bring comparisons with the likes of Nanci Griffith which is not bad company to be keeping however Kate most definitely possesses her own unique style. There is lovely string section that joins half way through while the backing vocals throughout add a certain smoothness to the proceeding.
All in all it represents a magnificent return to recorded action for Kate Ellis and we really must make the most of her time with us in case she takes another prolonged hibernation!