Holed up on a lonely Ontario farmstead, Kate Rogers poured it all out. 'St Eustacia', the resulting debut album relates a passion and musicality that will rarely be matched.
'Edge , charisma and Soul' NME
'Her sophisticated folk-influenced pop explores emotional landscapes with controlled power' Music Week
Following her celebrated performances with label mates Aim and Rae & Christian, Kate has embraced the instrumentation and ambience of her earliest influences to write and record this emotive collection of songs. Roots, blues and North American folk flavours feature in a sophisticated sound based on both studio and live performances by Kate and her band.
'What a record. An astonishing debut' Independent on Sunday
'With shifting instrumentation - from simple pianos to Arabian-infected beats - reflecting her changing moods, the likes of the rousing title track suggests she won't be fading into the crowd' Q
'Flecked with blues, roots, jazz and country. Outstanding.' The Times
Kate spent the majority of 2004/5 touring Europe where the album was released early in the year. Working with a stripped down ensemble featuring acoustic guitars, harmonica, ukulele and keys, Kate played to club and festival audiences alike. The response was outstanding.
'A mesmerising performer' Whats On - London
2005/6 sees the pendulum swing back home for Kate as she prepares for the release of her album in North America. Playing with her full live band Kate is already flexing her muscles on the Toronto club circuit, with a full touring schedule planned.
'A songwriter whose music is evidence of a talent following inspiration rather than fashion. A wonderful album' Sunday Times
Kate Rogers: vocals, acoustic guitar, baritone ukelele, harmonica
Matt Bannister: acoustic/electric guitar, vocals
Tom Howell: piano, fiddle, vocals
Blue Dunlap: acoustic/electric guitar, lapsteel guitar
John Dinsmore: upright/electric bass
Jake Wilkinson: Trumpet
Marco Stornelli: drums
Seconds LP (Acoustic Cover Songs)
St. Eustacia LP
St. Eustacia Single
This Collective Remix EP
Kate Rogers vs. Grand Central LP
This Idea EP
Kate Rogers ‘St. Eustacia’ (Grand Central)
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Rae & Christian vocalist makes her sing songwriter debut. Raised on an isolated farm in Canada, K...Rae & Christian vocalist makes her sing songwriter debut.
Raised on an isolated farm in Canada, Kate Rogers probably isn’t used to crowded places. But boasting affecting, folkish-tinged vocals, ‘St.Eustacia’ parachutes her right among the Dido’s and Beth Ortons of this world. Fortunately, thanks to her emotional range, she still manages to shine. ‘Not Ten Years Ago’ casts her as a wronged avenger, while the spacey guitars of ‘Odyssey’ reveal a more fragile side. With shifting instrumentation – from simple pianos to Arabian-infected beats – reflecting her changing moods, the likes of the rousing tile track suggests she won’t be fading into the crowd.
Folk-Pop – Kate Rogers ‘St.Eustacia’ (Grand Central) 4/5
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She has lent her voice to the likes of Rae & Christian and label-mate Aim, but Canadian chanteuse Ka...She has lent her voice to the likes of Rae & Christian and label-mate Aim, but Canadian chanteuse Kate Rogers has finally released a record in her own right. And what a record. ‘St.Eustacia’ would be little more than an average collection of polished folk-pop, were it not for a couple of extraordinary off-beat arrangements, including the cinematic “Nothing Appeals To Me Here”. Rogers sets her emotionally raw lyrics against pared-down guitars, piano and the odd electronic beat. A stunning debut. – Henrietta Roussoulis
Kate Rogers 'St.Eustacia' (Grand Central) 8/10
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Grand Central’s siren goes it alone. Kate Rogers has been singing on Grand Central releases for a nu...Grand Central’s siren goes it alone. Kate Rogers has been singing on Grand Central releases for a number of years now, notably lending her enchanting vocals to Aim and Jon Kennedy. But now it’s her turn. Her debut album, St Eustacia, strays a little from the label’s trademark cut’n’paste hip-hop soul into more traditional acoustic folk territory, but it still retains the engaging production craft that makes Grand Central such an interesting label. This record’s a grower, one for those restful moments when a sweet voice and a fine melody are required. And it’s nice to have Kate’s company for a whole LP. (8/10) - Matt Walton
Kate Rogers: 'Seconds ' (Grand Central)
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STRANGE concept this. Acoustically cover a load of disparate songs having only listened to them a co...STRANGE concept this. Acoustically cover a load of disparate songs having only listened to them a couple of times to get the basics. The songs covered range from those by The Smiths, Radiohead, Blink 182 and Green Day to Aim and Kate, herself from Grand Central. I can’t say I’m a fan of many of the original tracks covered. I am, though, a fan of Kate’s beautiful voice. It gloriously towers above the tracks she sings on, always adding and never detracting from the music. I guess, though, when a track is stripped back in this way to the acoustics then it doesn’t really matter what it sounded like in the first place.
On Seconds, Kate’s vocal performance is top notch as normal. She delivers the lines as if she wrote them herself, putting all her effort into making the tracks interesting and appealing. Although whether she can pull this off single-handed is in dispute. It took me a long time to get into this album. I think I was trying to forget the originals and enjoy the covers for what they are. Now, though, I am a fan and it’s opened up these songs to the missus, who now only knows them in their acoustic version. The Smiths' Big Mouth Strikes Again opens Seconds. It’s a slower, more emotional version. A mouth organ provides the tune and Kate uses her voice to provide the anger and bitterness the words deserve. Climbing Up The Walls has haunting production and as Kate sings the chorus, her voice comes from different places at different pitches to give real depth. Here Comes Your Man is excellent. Halfway through, the double bass kicks in and provides a great rumbling undercurrent to Kates’ upbeat vocals. The best by far is Miss You, there’s so much here - harmony on the chorus and a sense of aggression in Kate’s voice that’s drives the song forward. The vocals are fast and snappy against the smooth chorus creating a great counter balance.
When the chorus does come in, it’s at a much higher pitch than the other vocals and lights up the track. It may have been a rubbish Blink 182 song but it’s Seconds’ standout track. Seconds is a fairly short album but it’s one that can go round and round on the CD player without ever getting boring. There may be sad stories in many of these songs but they never become depressing, dull or boring.
Recommended, just give it the time it deserves.
KATE ROGERS ‘St. Eustacia’ (Grand Central) CCC1/2
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For a Canadian, Kate Rogers has the contemporary British female vocalist down pat. Sounding remarkab...For a Canadian, Kate Rogers has the contemporary British female vocalist down pat. Sounding remarkably like a jazzier Dido, Rogers pours out her heart on swingy tracks like “Not Ten Years Ago” and “Sidelines,” though the dark “Nothing Appeals To Me Here,” with its Eastern feel, is slightly out of place among her lighter tunes. Rogers shows her weak side on “Mighty,” pleading for the return of a lost lover while a delicate piano line adds to the background folk melodies. Like a candy apple with hidden razor blades, this chanteuse sounds remarkably innocent until you notice the sharp edges. CH
Kate Rogers 'St. Eustacia' (Grand Central)
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Taking odyssey at their word, Kate Rogers has gone back to her roots. The Canadian chanteuse has li...Taking odyssey at their word, Kate Rogers has gone back to her roots. The Canadian chanteuse has lived in Toronto for most of her years but grew up on a remote farm in the countryside north of the city and that pastoral air whistles sweetly through her debut album 'St. Eustacia', a collection of songs as crisp and fresh as a mountain dawn. "I consider myself a city girl, but I'll always need the space I had as a kid when I was just surrounded by nothing but forest," she says, "a lot of that yearning comes from touring when there is no escape from the bus." But 'St. Eustacia' represents a musical homecoming for Kate in more ways than one. She is best known for providing the haunting vocals on Aim's 'Sail', 'Girl Who Fell through the Ice' and Rae & Christian's 'Not Just Anybody' - a link with the British beats scene forged through the fact that Grand Central's Mark Rae is her cousin. "I'd always sung as a kid but gave up on it in my teens," she admits. "Then Mark came over when he was getting Grand Central off the ground and convinced me to start again." But the beautiful balladry and rustic folk that comprises 'St.Eustacia' has clearly grown from the seed of John Denver and Southern Bluegrass rather than from between the cracks of Grand Central's street. "We started making an album in the same vein as Aim, but after a lot of conversations we decided it was time to explore where my heart genuinely lay because the beats stuff was all new to me whereas the music I listened to back home was really rootsy stuff." And whilst Kate admits that she "can't imagine any DJ playing my records" as a soundtrack to life outside the dance floor - which is 99% of our lives, afterall - she should strike a chord. "My inspirations are very day to day but there is a definite sense of anticipation and anxiety about what I was moving into," she says. Which for her is a singer songwriter market some might see as saturated. "All female musicians have to contend with stereotypes about being 'wishy washy' or whatever but I refuse to let it change me or the way I make music.
And from such tiny acorns do mighty oaks grow. – Paul Clarke
The Staircase Theatre goes Out Singing
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Saturday marks the end of an era in this town with the closing of The Staircase theatre and café. B...Saturday marks the end of an era in this town with the closing of The Staircase theatre and café. But the folks at the little venue that could are going to be celebrating it in pretty much the same way they have every other night during the past few years – with top-notch live entertainment. The Staircase has always been the round hole for the square pegs of this world, providing shelter to artists who really didn’t fit well into other places. The final night’s entertainment was booked before they decided to close the building, so it’s a pretty good representation of the kind of talent The Staircase has been drawing over the years.
Across the Pond and Back
Up front in The Staircase Café, there’s Kate Rogers, a singer-songwriter who’s better known in England – where she has earned rave reviews in the Times of London and NME magazine – than in her native Ontario. Originally from a farm near Barrie, Rogers went to England a few years ago to help her cousin start up a new music label called Grand Central Records in Manchester. She had received classical voice training during her school years growing up in Kettleby and she was quickly put to work singing lead vocals for an urban dance group called Aim. The group had a minor English hit with a song called Sail, selling some 150,000 copies – a feat that would register platinum in Canada. Rogers toured up and down Britain with Aim but still considered Ontario her home, commuting back and forth, keeping an apartment in Toronto and crashing with friends in Manchester during her English days. She went home and wrote a pile of songs with her Canadian music partner Matthew Bannister, a guitarist and keyboard player she met while attending the University of British Columbia. They found some like-minded musicians and recorded in Toronto’s Chemical Sound studios, then took the tracks back to Manchester for mixing.
Graham Rockingham – The Hamilton Spectator
Kate Rogers 'St. Eustacia' (Grand Central)
Kate Rogers: Pared down rock and haunting electronic from singer touted as the female Ben Harper.
Kate Rogers 'St.Eustacia' (Grand Central) 4/5
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Aim chanteuse braves the singer-songwriter path alone. Grand Central has always had an embarrassm...Aim chanteuse braves the singer-songwriter path alone.
Grand Central has always had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to female vocalists, with both Veba and Kate Rogers soaring over their beats, and finally one has released an album in her own right. Kate is best known for tracks like Aim’s ‘The Girl Who Fell Through the Ice’ and Rae & Christian’s ‘Not Just Anybody’, but left to her own device, she ploughs an angsty melancholic folk furrow. Initially perfectly pleasant, over time ‘St.Eustacia’ reveals its more endearing nuances, through more off-kilter moments like ‘Nothing Appeals To Me Here’. Could it be that while all the majors were out searching for the new Dido, Grand Central tripped over her on their own doorstep? (LB)
New Kids in Town: KATE ROGERS
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KATE ROGERS Who is she? A Canadian singer whose voice has graced albums by her label mates Aim and...KATE ROGERS
Who is she?
A Canadian singer whose voice has graced albums by her label mates Aim and Rae & Christian, Rogers has now ventured out on her own. Into a recording studio, that is. Home is still the countryside near Toronto where she grew up. As her wonderful debut album, St. Eustacia, demonstrates, she is a songwriter whose multigenre music is evidence of a talent following inspiration rather than fashion.
Who does she sound like?
Vocally, Rogers has an edge and a vibrato that are equal parts Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Edie Brickell and Robbie Williams. Musically, St. Eustacia flirts with folk, straight pop, country, blues - and madrigals. 'Welcome' and 'Nothing Appeals To Me Here' could both, in the right circumstances, provoke a mass outbreak of Elizabethan dancing. A penchant for multilayered, canonical vocal arrangements only strengthens the sense of a musician operating. Kate Bush-like, creatively more in her own private century than ours.
So what were her influences, out there in the Canadian snow?
"Utter shamelessness was all I had to work with," she says.
When's the record out?
St. Eustacia is released tomorrow on Grand Central.
Can I see her live?
At Matt & Phreds, Manchester (Mon); Spitz, E1 (Tue); Komedia, Brighton (Mar 23); Arts Cafe, E1 (24); Custard Factory, Birmingham (26); Life Cafe, Manchester (27); Maze, Nottingham (28); New Roscoe, Leeds (29); Barfly, Glasgow (30); Bongo Club, Edinburgh (31). DC
Typical Set List: Kate plays short or long sets up to 2 hours depending on the show.
What Feels Like Years
Not Ten Years Ago
Nothing Appeals to me Here
Wish Him Well
Stealing From You
Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Smiths)
Climbing Up the Walls (Radiohead)
Broken Arrow (Neil Young)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.