Katie Grace Helow

Katie Grace Helow

 Jacksonville, Florida, USA
SoloAlternativeCountry

Katie Grace Helow is a Florida-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. Her music could be described as moody indie folk rock, slightly southern-inspired, with deeply moving lyrics. Songs range from slow and sultry, highlighting Helow's sweet and soothing vocals, to more driving, high-energy, foot-stomping rock. Helow always strives to write original music which will put her into a category of her own.

Biography

“You won't see Katie Grace Helow coming until her fearless love of music and ruthless dedication to her songs already have you by the throat. It might hurt, but you'll know you're alive. She makes songs with the mud and sand and salt water of her Florida home. The people she knows and loves get mixed up there too. It's a place she'll never let you visit, but some nights you can peak through a keyhole or watch from the neighbor's bushes. It's a place where plants bend in the dark looking for some sunlight. Sometimes they find it. Don't listen to her records, and don't go see her shows, because you won't realize you're stung until it's too late. You'll be sunburned, dehydrated, and lost at sea.”


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Katie Grace Helow’s love affair with music goes back as far as she can remember. As early as 4 years old she was piecing together songs on her father’s piano, later taking a liking to drums and percussion, teaching herself guitar, and exploring her vocal abilities. Yet it’s only now, with her second full-length album newly released, that she’s ready to see how far this life-long passion can really take her. The album, “Past Lives,” is the result of several years of perfecting a collection of songs that reflect the pain and complexities of intimate relationships and self-analysis. Rarely one to reveal her vulnerabilities through social interaction, Helow uses her songs as an outlet for the raw emotion and uncomfortable truths that both haunt and inspire her. Favoring minor scales and open tunings, she sets the tone musically in order to delve into the dark corners of her listener’s brain, creating space for the intensity of the lyrical journey that follows. While this has always been the basis for her songwriting, as is apparent in the moody compositions of her 2009 debut solo album “On Time & The Ocean,” there’s an undeniably new energy to many of the tracks that make up “Past Lives.” With a more aggressive guitar style, more powerful vocals, and the attention-grabbing guitar riffs and vocal harmonies of accompanying musician Zach Lever, Helow makes it clear that she’s ready to be heard. 

Over the years Helow has opened for notable bands such as Junip, David Bazan, Bitch and the Exciting Conclusion, and Loudon Wainwright III. She has been in and recorded with many bands of diverse genres: as a guitar player for a punk band in high school, as a drummer for a hardcore band in college, and as a guest vocalist/musician for several friends’ bands in the years that followed. However, “Past Lives” is the first album to include full-band recordings of her own songs, made even more significant by the fact that Helow and Lever play all the instruments themselves. This is also the first time Helow has put out a record on vinyl. While she has been attracted to vinyl records ever since she learned how to use her parents’ turntable as a child, Helow held out until she was sure she had an album with worthy songwriting and recording quality. Her musical partnership with longtime friend Zach Lever, which blossomed shortly after the release of “On Time & The Ocean," was also integral in her decision to press “Past Lives” on vinyl. Having kept her original work solo for years, Lever was the first musician with whom Helow felt she could completely entrust her compositions. She found in him not only a skilled, versatile musician, but an ability to immediately understand her musical vision, and know just what was needed to help each song reach its fullest potential. 


“Past Lives” was released on November 19th, 2015, and is available as a 2-disc vinyl set as well as digital download. 


Lyrics

Ugly In The Light

Written By: Katie Grace Helow

clarity's eluded me the entirety of this plight
I held myself up like a saint just fighting the good fight
but standing here before this mirror I see another side

in the dark I dwell and always tell of lessons there to learn
I took a seat and patiently awaited there my turn
but with the spotlight over me, I'm starting to discern..

I'm ugly in the light
ugly in the light
in darkness I reside
too ugly in the light

so shoot my love up like a drug and feel its glorious high
your head will spin and you begin to feel the stars align
but soon you'll wake, your heart will break, and beauty there will die

I've something to confide
I'm ugly in the light
so in darkness I reside
too ugly in the light...