British singer/songwriter Kate Walsh became one of the U.K.’s most celebrated newcomers with the release of her second album, Tim’s House, which became the first album by an unsigned artist to ever top the iTunes charts.
Stripped down, live-in-the-studio acoustic album The Real Thing is, says the D.I.Y. Brit songbird, “the simplest and truest form” for her new songs, each delivered one per month this past year in a video leading up to the full album.
Her fourth album of original songs follows up last year’s Peppermint Radio collection of cover songs. Walsh’s “straight from my heart” performances are mostly whisper-soft confessional musings spun like fine gossamer… accompanying herself on guitar and piano with the occasional cello backup, the 28-year-old draws comparisons to the Blue-period Joni Mitchell with what we’ve described as her “achingly pure” voice and gifted way around a simple, compelling melody.
The deeply emotional songs of love, loss, longing and loneliness may be delivered in a soft, delicate surrounding but the sharp clarity and undisguised pain connect with a solid punch lyrically…the fragile music box beginning of “Stirring Up A Fire” blossoms into a sweeping torch song of lovely melodic twists and turns (even if she does rhyme “written” with “smitten”)…the title track — our favorite of all — boasts some exquisite guitar lines and some Joni-like vocals of crystalline beauty — the real thing, indeed…