As musicians and music-listeners alike venture into a creative climate in which technological elements often define an artist’s sonic and visual identity, Katie Costello emerges as a unique and timeless example of an authentic artisan shinning amidst the frequently clouded backdrop of modernity. Almost as if her spirit has been frozen in another day and age, her perspective is one that far exceeds her surprisingly young age. She writes about the human condition – Our ever present desire to find peace, identity, home, and understanding.
Katie Costello’s most recent release “Lamplight” (2011), produced by Los Angeles-based music guru Tony Berg (Jesca Hoop, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn), reflects her distinctively conversational, yet poetic lyrical approach. Deeply personal, her songs are impressionistic and beckon to the lonely, disconnected nature of our times. Although initial listeners might find a carefree and happy-go-lucky element in her music, she writes songs that are meant to be revisited and experienced over and over again. Katie’s music seems to reward those who are searching and wanting something more than what is presented at the surface. Beyond their initially unique and eloquent phrasing, Katie’s lyrics comment upon the dark human issues we all undoubtably face. The first song on the record, “Cassette Tape,” humorously speaks of the frustrations regarding meeting both friends and lovers. With a lush and dirty-beautiful electric guitar backdrop, “Ashes Ashes” is empowering and moving in its commentary of self-actualization and mortality. “After Dark” paints a gray and painful landscape of a broken, seemingly infallible family relationship.
Each song seems to understand itself and does not fight to express its most profound or subtle concepts, regardless of how far below the surface they vibrate with intensity. There are strong elements of humor, loss, and subtle sarcasm that offer a different experience for each listener. Katie comments on the nature of full-length records by saying, “I think of every album as a very particular period of time and thematic contemplation in my life. I write what has happened to me and what I have felt, simply because I want to understand it. Songwriting is something that I happen to do and is not something that I regard with a great deal of personal responsibility. I thank the Universe for our human ability to create.” “Lamplight” reflects this desire to understand our existence, yet simultaneously expresses an understanding that the answers to our deepest questions can only be discussed, and not discovered.
Katie’s past release, “The City In Me” EP (2010), is a spirited, clever, and haunting collection of songs that chronicle Costello’s relationship with the concept of home, and with various cities (particularly New York and Los Angeles). Produced by one of Katie’s closest friends, current band member, and musical prodigy, David Lamoureux, the EP reflects the relaxed and creatively daring approach Katie and her collaborators bring to her sonic identity.
Released at the age of 17, Katie’s debut full-length record, “Kaleidoscope Machine” (2008), is a vibrant and refreshing collection of identity-searching compositions. Already at a young age, Katie’s perspective and creative mission can be heard in her music. Nic Harcourt of KCRW noticed her determined and innate creative nature by saying, “It’s good to know what one wants to be when one grows up. At 17, Hermosa Beach resident Katie Costello is making her path clear.”
Katie’s music is on KCRW (89.9 Santa Monica) “Morning Becomes Eclectic” and was chosen as their “KCRW Top Tune of the Day” free iTunes download. Her songs have been featured on the CW shows, “90210,” “One Tree Hill,” and ABC’s “Private Practice.” All of Katie’s work, “Kaleidoscope Machine,” “The City In Me” EP, and “Lamplight” are on iTunes and have been featured in various capacities. Her song “Isn’t It Lovely” was the grand-prize winner of Sennheiser’s “My Song Contest,” which also landed her a performance at the 2010 and 2011 NAMM conferences. Paste Magazine has featured her song “Inside Out” in their “New Music Sampler,” as well as Katie’s latest album “Lamplight” in their “Best Of What’s Next” piece. Katie’s music has been featured in both Teen Vogue and Marie Claire. “Lamplight” is now available!
Katie Costello - vocals, piano, kazoo
Lamplight (LP) - Released February 22, 2011
The City In Me (EP) - Released September 28, 2010
Kaleidoscope Machine (LP) - Released November 11, 2008
KCRW 'Top Tune of the Day'
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KCRW, the Santa Monica, CA - based public radio station that is known for their broadcast of cutting...KCRW, the Santa Monica, CA - based public radio station that is known for their broadcast of cutting edge music, has chosen singer/songwriter Katie Costello's song, 'Kaleidoscope Machine' for thier 'Today's Top Tune' promotion.
The song will be featured for 24 hours on Wednesday, Oct. 29th on KCRW.com and on the KCRW page of iTunes for FREE.
After Oct. 29th, 'Kaleidoscope Machine' will stream on KCRW's website for 3 months.
Both Chris Douridas (New Ground) & Nic Harcourt (Morning Becomes Eclectic) currently have Costello's music in rotation.
iTunes 'Indie Artist Spotlight'
iTunes 'Indie Artist Spotlight' for 11/25/08
"It's good to know what one wants to be when one grows up"
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WED OCT 29, 2008 It's good to know what one wants to be when one grows up. At 17, Hermosa Beach re...WED OCT 29, 2008
It's good to know what one wants to be when one grows up. At 17, Hermosa Beach resident Katie Costello is making her path clear. She will release her debut shortly and I'm excited to offer the song, "Kaleidoscope" as Today's Top Tune. - Nic Harcourt
"Kaleidoscope Machine" on 90210
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11/18/08: Katie Costello's song, 'Kaleidoscope Machine' will be featured on the CW's hugely popular ...11/18/08: Katie Costello's song, 'Kaleidoscope Machine' will be featured on the CW's hugely popular show, '90210.'
Local Student takes bite of Big Apple music scene
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Singer-songwriter, pianist and Mira Costa High School senior KATIE COSTELLO wasn't afraid to bang ou...Singer-songwriter, pianist and Mira Costa High School senior KATIE COSTELLO wasn't afraid to bang out a tune on a toy piano from Target when she recorded her first album, 'Kaleidoscope Machine,' in NYC this month.
"A lot of songs on the album are makeshift noises," Costello said. "We literally bought toy instruments to make drum sounds and kind of electric piano noises. It was really fun and gave the album a really cool feel."
"Kaleidoscope Machine" will be released by Dec. 2008 and is a 12-track album.
"It's really hard to define my music. Not because I think it's special or out of the ordinary or something, but because I think music is such a personal art. I'd like to think it's somewhere between folk and pop," said Costello.
"I Can't Fix Us Two" on One Tree Hill
Episode "Forever and Almost Always"; Season 6; ONE TREE HILL
"City Lights" on ABC's "Private Practice
Episode 219 "What Women Want"; "City Lights" on "Private Practice"
Katie is only in her late teens, but ...
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Katie Costello is only in her late teens, but already has a voice that produces notes well beyond th...Katie Costello is only in her late teens, but already has a voice that produces notes well beyond those tender young years. Her vocals are soft with a bit of a whimsical, theatrical sound, along with a, lived life edge, that’s also found on them.
Her press material describes her as, “…a grandma stuck inside a slightly less matronly 18 year old body.”
Costello pulls from artists like, Billie Holliday, X, Fiona Apple, New Buffalo, and Bob Dylan for her musical inspiration.
Standing only 5' 4? on a good day, the fair-skinned, blue eyed Costello likes to have fun with her music, which can be evidenced by some of the more unusual music credits found on the release’s cover. Starting with the Kazoo, which Costello uses to bring a light element to several of the songs. You’ll also find credits for, drunken spirit voices, introspective mumbling, dulcimer, washboard, and stomps.
While the CD has 12 listed tracks if after the song on track twelve ends if you’re patient and wait for a few moments the hidden, “Virtual Diploma” springs to life.
With the songs being written by Costello it’s hard to think of what she’s drawing upon for some of the more intense lyric content found in the songs. It must be that grandmother hidden in her coming out. Her lyrics have a bit of a dark edge sarcasm to them while at the same time offering up glimmers of hope.
My favorite tracks were, “Isn’t It Lovely,” a song that starts out with a Parisian café sound via its accordion and muted trumpet parts. The song deals with needing to take the time to slow down and really enjoy life sometimes.
I also liked the title track, “Kaleidoscope Machine,” a lively up tempo song that features a nice steady thick drum beat that works well when set against Costello’s soft vocals. To me the lyrics of the song brought out the idea of how beauty can be found in so many different ways, just like a kaleidoscope can produce so many different vibrant colors and patterns, depending on how you look through it.
Costello has found success on TV already with her song, “City Lights” being chosen for use on the ABC show “Private Practice.” Along with her music appearing on the show "90210" that’s found on the CW network, iTunes also featured Katie in their “Indie Artist Spotlight.”
Showing so much talent already, it’s hard to fathom what musical wonders lie ahead for Katie Costello’s music.
New to the scene: Katie Costello
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There seems to be a stereotype that Indie music is depressing music. Now I can't argue that some In...There seems to be a stereotype that Indie music is depressing music. Now I can't argue that some Indie music is, Death Cab For Cutie for one can go in that direction. I want to talk about two artists who do not have depressing music, and I think are worth watching in the future. While Tim Myers and Katie Costello (check them out at the iTunes Store) are newcomers to the Indie music scene, I already love their music ... Katie Costello came out with Kaleidoscope Machine in November 2008, and all I have to say is: Oh My God. I love the title track, "I Can't Fix Us Two," "Shadow Love," and "City Lights." Costello's voice stays with you long after you are done listening to the album, and (at least for me) I want to go back and listen to it again. That's saying something because there's a reason I want to go back. Superficial music might be good on a first listening but not after that. That is not the case here. She's the real thing. So Tim Myers and Katie Costello, I hope you keep on making great music as new energentic voices in the Indie music scene. When you do, I'll be sure to listen.
Interview Magazine Feature
“… She certainly has the vocal chops worthy of the Costello name.”
Skinnie Magazine Feature
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“Los Angeles native Katie Costello stands as a beacon of musical brilliance amidst a faltering and g...“Los Angeles native Katie Costello stands as a beacon of musical brilliance amidst a faltering and generally mediocre Pop music environment. It would be simple to compare her to someone that is well-known in hopes of trying to gear one’s attention that might be acclimated toward a specific type of genre, or group, but that would be a massive disservice to Katie’s quirky sensibilities and insanely talented songwriting abilities.” – Alex Mendoza
Self Magazine Feature
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“Life as a touring musician can be rough, and yoga–with its mind/body benefits–can be the perfect wo...“Life as a touring musician can be rough, and yoga–with its mind/body benefits–can be the perfect workout on the road. Katie Costello, who always travels with her mat, took time out of her busy schedule to demonstrate her favorite moves.”
CMJ Music Feature
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“Costello’s music, while pop-y and upbeat at times, possesses the soul of quirky indie and the instr...“Costello’s music, while pop-y and upbeat at times, possesses the soul of quirky indie and the instrumentation of rock. Her second album, Lamplight, is full of songs of a similarly genre-defying nature.” – Keyana Stevens
Beatweek Magazine Feature
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“Spend time chatting with her, and the quirky sense of humor is as immediately evident as the philos...“Spend time chatting with her, and the quirky sense of humor is as immediately evident as the philosophical side.”
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“The 20 year-old may be young enough to be Rivers Cuomo’s daughter, but she is already an accomplish...“The 20 year-old may be young enough to be Rivers Cuomo’s daughter, but she is already an accomplished artist.”
Vogue.com Music Feature: Artist Of The Week
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“Her second album, Lamplight, is a quirky assortment of carefree summer pop, which, much like Costel...“Her second album, Lamplight, is a quirky assortment of carefree summer pop, which, much like Costello herself, seems to make more sense when set against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s tree-lined streets, brownstones, and rustic coffee shops.” – Freddie Champion
BlackBook Magazine Music Feature
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“Ignore the sudden sensation of being thrown into an iPod commercial, because the feel-good, piano-h...“Ignore the sudden sensation of being thrown into an iPod commercial, because the feel-good, piano-heavy melodies on Katie Costello’s sophomore album are instantly offset by quirky lyrics and rich, reverberating vocals.”
Marie Claire Music Feature
“You’ll feel the emotional storm brewing in the first few notes…”
Teen Vogue Music Feature
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“And with rich, melodic ballads about love, change, and finding yourself, there’s little doubt that ...“And with rich, melodic ballads about love, change, and finding yourself, there’s little doubt that this 20-year-old’s new set of songs will score her just as many accolades.”
All originals by Katie Costello
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