Fate Is the Hunter

Fate Is the Hunter

4.5 2
by Kate Earl
     
 
Kate Earl grew up writing songs in the cold of Chugiak, Alaska, but Fate Is the Hunter suggests she's deeply assimilated into her current Los Angeles home. It's soulful and wistful, by turns breezy and simmering, and densely populated with native talent. Produced by Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, X), Fate includes appearances by Jon Brion, Wendy Melvoin,

Overview

Kate Earl grew up writing songs in the cold of Chugiak, Alaska, but Fate Is the Hunter suggests she's deeply assimilated into her current Los Angeles home. It's soulful and wistful, by turns breezy and simmering, and densely populated with native talent. Produced by Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, X), Fate includes appearances by Jon Brion, Wendy Melvoin, Mitchell Froom, Pete Thomas, Patrick Warren, and several members of Incubus. But Earl doesn't need the stellar luminaries in order to shine: Mostly, they provide understated, restrained backing, and it's Earl's crystalline, often sultry voice that makes Fate such an impressive debut. She's equally adept at spare acoustic ballads such as "Come This Far" and the Norah Jones-like "Silence," jazzy torch songs like "Sweet Sixteen" (which owes debts to both Peggy Lee and Rickie Lee Jones), and sassy pop such as "Officer," a fast-talking tale that recalls Shawn Colvin. Earl reminisces about abandoning Alaska on the shimmering, dulcimer-driven "When You're Older": "My intentions aren't unfair or unkind/ How else could I purge my heart of this billowed dream," she sings, mixing nostalgia and defiance. Fate Is the Hunter is the realization of that dream, and it introduces an earnest and charismatic new talent.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Kate Earl's debut has an understated glow about it, a quiet allure that comes from a bright, almost naïvely honest young singer working with a crew of sure-handed musicians. Earl migrated to Los Angeles from Chugiak, AK. That's near Anchorage. But she sounds at home in front of a California band that includes (at various points) Mitchell Froom, Michael Penn, Wendy Melvoin, members of Incubus, Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks), and sound artist/pedal steel manipulator Chas Smith. Earl's vocals are throaty, expressive, and pristinely clear. She's a less strident Joss Stone over the winking strings of "Silence," but delicate and half-asleep on "Free," where Scher's pedal steel and the pump organ of Patrick Warren add hundreds of style points. Earl's songwriting on Fate Is the Hunter has some gravity -- she's a girl just trying to make her way in the world, or a lover, or lost thoughts and memories where darkness whispers amidst the happiness. But it's really her unadorned vocal over Hunter's finely rendered instrumentation that makes the record shimmer like an L.A. sunset. "Cry Sometimes" is a gorgeous cut, a slice of soft rock that goes back to Carly Simon or Rickie Lee Jones, and "Sweet Sixteen" is breezy with brushed acoustic strings and a great, vocal saxophone in a supporting role. "When You're Older" feels like the single -- it could be Tegan & Sara. That's not wrong, but it doesn't quite fit with tracks like the ambitious, steadily building "Anything" or the touching Alaska diary "Come This Far." That's OK. For a debut, Fate Is the Hunter hits its marks wonderfully, offering grace, gravity, simplicity, and well-played, well-placed instrumentation.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/10/2005
Label:
Warner Bros Mod Afw
UPC:
0093624877929
catalogNumber:
48779
Rank:
108266

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kate Earl   Primary Artist,Percussion,Piano,Vocals
David Baerwald   Guitar
Michael Penn   Acoustic Guitar
Tony Berg   Dulcimer,Guitar,Piano,Tamboura
Jon Brion   Organ,Hammond Organ
Richard Dodd   Cello
Mitchell Froom   Keyboards
Wendy Melvoin   Dulcimer,Guitar,Oud
Pete Thomas   Percussion,Drums
Patrick Warren   Piano,Harmonium,Saxophone,chamberlain,Pump Organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Optigan
Chris Wood   Violin
Chas Smith   Pedal Steel Guitar
John Krovoza   Cello
Jose Antonio Pasillas   Drums
Eric Gorfain   Violin
Daphne Chen   Violin
Mike Einziger   Guitar,12-string Guitar
Dave Scher   Pedal Steel Guitar
Ben Kenney   Bass
Melissa Reiner   Violin
Leah Katz   Viola
David Sage   Viola

Technical Credits

Tony Berg   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Clif Norrell   Engineer
Bob Thiele   Composer
Patrick Warren   String Arrangements
Jeff Motch   Art Direction
David Boucher   Engineer
Mike Piscitelli   Art Direction
Kate Earl   Composer

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Fate Is the Hunter 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kate's voice is gorgeous, strong.... lyrics are personal and real. Reminds me of Fiona Apple but calmer and sweeter. This is a beautiful album!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago