Review Summary: She knows her music is better than yours.
Katie Gately is a mix of two kinds of people. There's the type that lists off things they like in their Instagram bio (dogs--my boyfriend---Jesus---21/Virgo) while posting pictures of their pets. There's also the type that is, for lack of a more succinct term, a total nerd. An example of that would be someone who is completely versed in the Harry Potter franchise, or maybe an anime series, and is able to recall any small detail of lore in a heartbeat. These personality traits make up Katie Gately. On the 'About' page on her website, she lists off nearly two dozen pieces of software, all of which contribute in some way to her sound production and design. Below it is the phrase "pet person, kid person, candy person".
These two aspects of her life are directly related to the kind of music that she makes. Color
is her debut album, and it displays an astounding amount of talent for a debut. That doesn't mean, however, that she's only just starting. Her last significant release was in 2013. It was an EP, containing six tracks. She's gone from that to her first full-length album in a considerably-lengthy four years. So what does four years of work and effort sound like"
, Gately approaches music with the central idea that more = better. Every single song has an extreme amount of detail, delicately pushed into all the nooks and crannies that another artist might miss. There's also very little of anything that sounds like a traditional acoustic instrument. The album chooses to use its time with corybantic beats and sprightly foley sounds. From what I can tell, Gately composes most of her sounds with field recordings, or samples of anything that she can find. That method of organization clearly contributes to her work. It's a very intriguing mix of something that sounds thrown together haphazardly, but also sounds painstakingly tweaked and manipulated so it comes as close to perfect as it can be.
Gately also manages to sing on these tracks, and incredibly well. From the first track's "I don't wanna grow...up" sample, to the almost soothing verses on the album's final, titular track, her voice shows up everywhere. Since a lot of the sounds that are present utilize her voice somehow, Color
sounds half-man, half-machine. The sounds of what could be everyday objects are juxtaposed with an angelic human voice. That voice knows exactly what it's doing, too. On every minute of this album, Gately effortlessly sends the impression that she knows she sounds amazing. She knows that the music she makes is undeniably superb, and she brushes it off like it's nothing.
It may not be something that blows the listeners away. But after it ends, it definitely gives them a "woah" moment. The realization that they've stumbled upon one beast of an album, and likely of an artist as well. She's an unrelenting one, and she's bound to strike again.