Neo-folk walks hand in hand with hip-hop on an effortlessly soothing, yet desperately crushing release from this gifted American songwriter
Charleston singer-songwriter Katie Rose tackles a topic that we’ve all felt on her new single Feel: that moment “when you realise that maybe you aren’t just like everyone else.” So Katie, just how are we supposed to feel?
The track opens with an airy, neo-folky and claustrophobic backdrop, as Rose posts rhymes that see her wondering how she should pick up and rebuild herself. This is ostensibly after having her heart broken, but, more broadly, after she’s come to the realisation that this sense of numbness might be a permanent feature of life.
The chorus sees Rose asking, “is this how I’m supposed to feel?”, as a stuttering hip-hop beat – that jigs and clatters, winds and purrs – digs its hooks into you. By its close, you feel a little desperate that, not only do you have an answer for our protagonist, but perhaps not for yourself either.
Much will likely be made of Katie Rose’s age (17) and that the topic of Feel is a slice of teen angst, the sort favoured by Fiona Apple in her heydey. That, though, misses the point. This is a song that taps into a sense of dislocation that can anchor anyone at any moment and, with its cool and sleek neo-folk meets hip-hop vibe, announces Katie Rose as a songwriter of real talent.
Verdict: Emotive and achingly crafted neo-folk meets hip-hop