Kate Grom - "Heroine"

Released on February 24th, Heroine is the debut album from New Jersey native Kate Grom. Holding a collection of nine tracks, each co-written by Kate herself, Heroine blends echoes of traditional country music with the Americana style of artists like Kacey Musgraves and Brandy Clark to create a promising debut release.

The two strongest moments within the album come courtesy of Already Know and penultimate track Whiskey Eyes. Opening with a soft acoustic guitar line, Whiskey Eyes has an almost lullabic nature to the melody and that certainly helps craft the overall listening experience. There is an intrinsic sadness behind the track which Kate leads with an emotive almost haunting vocal that, through the well pitched production line, is the real focus of a track that you will certainly find yourself listening to time and time again.

The haunting nature of Kate's voice combines well with the relatively heavy production behind Already Know. There are a few instances in the album where Kate introduces a heavier, darker production but Already Know is by far the strongest, it manages to feel both well thought out and natural at the same time. The solid drum line helps to ground the track and the combination of that and the interweaving electric guitar add an appealing edge to Already Know.

Whilst overall Heroine is fairly strong release there are unfortunately instances where some of the tracks fall short of what they could be. The walking bass guitar line throughout Under The Gun for instance quickly becomes a little grating and the track as a whole seems to lack direction and feels a little forgettable - a song that would have benefited from a little further polish.

Album closer Only Way Out is frustrating in that intrinsically it is an competent track however it just misses certain elements to make it really shine. As one of the shortest songs on the album, Only Way Out seems to finish quite abruptly which feels a little awkward and the highly repetitive lyrics mean your attention does seem to wonder by the end of the track. It's a shame as this could ultimately have been quite strong, it would be interesting to hear what would have happened if the rockier nature of the number would have been built upon and developed further.

Track listing....
1) Whistle Cry - Kate Grom, Sean Grom
2) Lose My Mind - Kate Grom, Stephanie Lambring
3) Tricks - Kate Grom, Robert Kelly
4) Already Know - Kate Grom, Ruston Kelly
5) Under The Gun - Kate Grom, Audrey Spillman
6) Heroine - Kate Grom
7) This Storm - Kate Grom, Stephanie Lambring
8) Whiskey Eyes - Kate Grom, Stephanie Lambring
9) Only Way Out - Kate Grom, Mando Saenz

Whilst, as I mention, Heroine is still a promising, fairly strong release, the album as a whole does come very close to being a little too ethereal. It is hard to craft a balance but Kate does do that with some success here, it would just be nice to hear more of a rounded package which may still come as future releases showcase new music. That all being said, Kate is still an intriguing artist to keep an eye on!