Katrina Parker
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Katrina Parker

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"The Music Edge review of "Only Dreaming""

Close your eyes and you might feel like you're back in a 1930s jazz club, listening to the sultry vocals of a vibrant beauty. Parker considers her songs "broken but hopeful" explorations of emotions—timeless contemplations about love and loss. Her style is slow and dreamy, her partner her signature piano. Only Dreaming brings six songs of her repertoire into focus, offering us a backdrop to release tensions of our day.

Her voice is reminiscent of Jane Monheit, with maybe a sprinkle of Tori Amos, and vocal quality that offers amazing potential to stir the soul...The ingredients (of success, of impacted listeners) are all there... Now close your eyes, put up your feet, and fall into this for a while. Katrina Parker is definitely an artist worth watching. - Barbara Lawrence, www.themusicedge.com


"1340 Mag review of "Only Dreaming""

In the past year some truly promising independent musicians have surfaced making a case for a very bright future for music (as well as a very hard fall for major labels- what do you do when the talent no longer wants or needs you? But I digress. Among these supremely talented artists is Katrina Parker, who is perhaps L.A.'s quietest musician.

Only Dreaming is an absolutely stunning EP that puts the focus squarely where it should be, on Parker's obviously trained vocal and piano and work. Parker is probably the best non-major label vocalist I have ever heard. Her voice is sultry and commanding and inviting without even the slightest hint of pretentiousness. The opening song, "Killing Me" features a painful wail that completely envelopes you- almost feeling the heartache yourself.

Her piano work is another entirely endearing quality. It's very straightforward- which seems to be a rarity among female singer/songwriters these days. "Thinking It Over" is one of the best examples this, you literally feel like it"s just the artist and the listener together and that every word is directed towards YOU. The title track is a favorite among favorites as well, with a jazzier bit of piano and superb use of space. Parker is great at giving these songs space and there is a lot of power in that, nothing feels crowded or rushed.

This is an amazing EP that fans of singer/songwriter, jazz, blues/lounge, and pretty much any other style of music can appreciate and enjoy. It truly transcends the confines of a genre without being even slightly avant-garde (which is the easy route to setting yourself apart now isn't it?). - Mark Fisher, www.1340mag.com


"Northeast In Tune Review of "Only Dreaming""

A woman singing about love in Los Angeles could come across as an immature Hollywood dime-a-dozen singer songwriter, trying to cathartically exorcise her adolescent travails through whiny chords. After all, songs about love and its torments are not often unique, especially in a city which extols the virtues of youth and their transient obsessions. In order to contrast this, the indie scene produced a number of strong women, singing about anti-love with a viciousness which rivaled the intensity of the love song’s passion. These two opposing themes combined to create a cacophony of noise in the every day music scene.

Through the whine and angry whir created by this scene emerges the quiet, controlled, whimsical voice of Katrina Parker, a woman who is neither obsessed with her own romantic affairs nor afraid to be a sensual, romantic individual. She sings love songs, but she sings them with realistic optimism and an adult perspective on her own emotional world, capturing the heart and spirit of the women of her generation in a way that other singer songwriters often fail to accomplish.

Katrina’s ability to transcend the stereotypes which she could have easily been caught in may come directly from the dual nature of her personality. She is a modern Los Angeles woman with an old soul which seems to be intricately linked with the ancient past. Her musical influences include a range of voices from the long-standing traditional hymns of old church choirs to the modern sounds of Jonatha Brooke and Fiona Apple. Her lyrics are sometimes hopefully romantic (as in All We Need’s optimistic belief that love is enough to make a relationship work) and sometimes painfully realistic (as in Killing Me’s quiet realization that sometimes there is nothing one can do to ease the pain of another, no matter how much they love them.)

Listening to her songs, one gets the sense that Katrina is not someone who flits from one side of the emotional spectrum to the other but rather is someone who has worked to develop the wholeness of her personality and who embraces self-understanding regarding all aspects of her emotional life. She seems to embrace her own contradictions and to work to reconcile them. This is demonstrated through her musical genre, which is neither pop nor jazz but rather a unique fusion of the two, also partially influenced by country greats like Patsy Cline and modern folk rock artists such as Over the Rhine. The best thing about Katrina’s music is that just when you start to think that you’ve got an idea of where she is going with a piece, she allows the opposite side of her personality to emerge.

This duality is reflected not only in the genre changes of her music but also in similar shifts in her lyrics, the speed of her songs and the way in which she mixes her deeply melodic voice with her own piano music. Most of her songs start off with a piano introduction which sets the mood for the piece in almost the same way that background music creates the setting for movie scenes. In the same way that filmmakers can build up the emotions within viewers through their use of the right complimentary music, Katrina uses her piano playing skills to enhance the listener’s experience of her song.

She then brings the story in to the song with her captivating, almost supernatural voice. Though it has been described by people as haunting, her voice is less ghostly than it is mystical. It is almost as if her soul traveled in a straight line from an ancient past life to her modern spirit, carrying with it the potency of a dramatic past combined with the wisdom of self-realization. Lyrically, she sums it up best herself in Thinking It Over when she says, “There’s a thousand words now in the way of all the things we have to say from here.” Despite the apparent simplicity of many of her lyrics, the depth of emotion within her songs simply cannot be easily summed up in words. - Kathryn Vercillo, www.northeastintune.com


"Rag Magazine review of "Only Dreaming""

Katrina Parker makes me wish I liked red wine, so I could sip quietly from a tall glass as I watched her perform at a hip jazz lounge
downtown, she on stage sitting at her piano, me sophisticated, alone at a small table shyly holding her gaze. Parker sings of universal
themes, personal ones: love lost, whose vestiges persist(opening “KillingMe”) and the romantic notion that love conquers all (the soothing “All You
Need”), for instance. Her vocals are raspy, jazzy, low and inviting....
“All You Need” is the EP’s highlight. The subdued drums and gentle piano gracefully complement each other, while Parker’s warm vocals lie delicately above crooning that her love is all you need and that, ultimately, “Our love is all we need.” No matter what the rest of the album might be like, this is a marvelous way to end it... - Natalia Real, www.ragmagazine.com


"Phantom Tollbooth review of "Only Dreaming""

Imagine yourself in Cincinnati, Ohio in the early nineties. In walks an unknown female singer who begins belting out a mixture of pop, alternative, standards, and does all of this in a sultry, understated way that makes you an immediate fan. You do some follow up, find out the band is called Over the Rhine, and that the female singer's name is Karin Bergquist. Fifteen years later, you're still a fan, and eagerly await her next disc, or appearance near you.

Check with me in the year 2021. I imagine that I will be doing the same thing with Katrina Parker. Only Dreaming is an EP that incorporates a dreamy intimacy into adult pop music, reminding the listener of Madeline Peyroux, Imogen Heap, or some of Feist's works.

Parker is a chanteuse, ranging from the haunting "Killing Me," to "Thinking It Over," and "All You Need," which are reminiscent of Over the Rhine's best slow songs. With the ethereal sound, and quiet introspection, the only thing missing here is a painfully raw tune in the vein of Tori Amos. These six songs contain romance, hopefulness, wistful longing, and a search for faith. The first listen hit me hard enough that I had to give it a few more tries so as not to go overboard on this one. If Katrina Parker has more songs in her, Only Dreaming may be the start of something very, very big. - Brian A. Smith, www.tollbooth.org


"Only Dreaming and Beyond..."

"Driving down Sunset Boulevard last week, I saw an image I thought I would never see. I passed the iconic Tower Records with a marquee that simply read, “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” My entire life, I never believed that such an establishment would ever permanently close its doors. While the R.E.M. quote couldn’t be more accurate for anyone loosely associated with the chain retailer, perhaps a more appropriate lyrical farewell would have been, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

Some may question what the above anecdote has to do with Katrina Parker, a wonderfully talented new singer-songwriter who came to the attention of ONE WAY’s staff in the past few months, but there exists a parallel. As an unsigned artist, Parker has released one EP, Only Dreaming, and is in the process of recording a follow-up. Not only has a major music retailer fallen, but the entire business model in every aspect of recording, promoting, and selling music has changed more than ever before in music history. Parker notes, “I’m not actively seeking a label deal. If the opportunity came along, it would be wonderful, but I think for so long I’ve kind of been in the indie mindset that it’s not something’s that’s been a priority for me. The atmosphere of the music industry right now, with the Internet, and all of the avenues open to indie artists, it’s not like you have to have a label right now to make music.”

And, making music is something that Katrina Parker does exceptionally well. Her material has garnered much attention through channels that would have been inconceivable, namely websites such as sonicbids.com (where ONE WAY initially discovered her) and the ubiquitous myspace.com. What makes an artist such as Parker to capture the publication’s attention might seem obvious, but it’s a simple formula (that is much harder than it seems to achieve): her music, voice, songwriting, and production are stunning. Her debut CD stands alongside impressive major label debuts on all counts and there is no reason her next effort will not exceed her first offering.

The woman who grew up in Asheville, NC and later migrated to Nashville before relocating to LA speaks excitedly about her next recording project. She speculates, “I think it’s going to be different artistically. We [Parker and her production team] still have the same intimacy of the vocals, etc. to start off. But, the songs are different. Listening to it, what we’ve done so far is a little more gothic. It’s still pretty romantic. We’re trying to make it a mix of vintage sounds and electronic sounds. I love the electronic sounds we’ve that been playing around with. The piano is going to be less of a focal point, although it’s still going to be an important part of it. The songs aren’t going to be quite as quiet. Not everything’s going to be a slow song.”

The songs from Only Dreaming are otherworldly expressions of heartache and redemption. While her EP contains somewhat minimalist piano-based productions that beautifully frame her haunting alto, early demos of the reworked version of her song, “Killing Me,” indicates that her future compositions live up to her appraisal. Once completing the session, she enthuses, “I’m working with someone from Tinder Box Music, who are in Minneapolis. They have been doing a college radio campaign. It’s amazing what opportunities are out there for indie artists. There are people that do distribution for you, there are people that do radio promotion for you. It’s not going to be the same as having a label behind you, but there are so many little ways you can do some of the same promotional items that they do on a smaller scale. It’s an exciting time to be an indie artist.

Only Dreaming is available at katrinaparker.com, cdbaby.com/cd/katrinaparker, and iTunes." - Dean Truitt, One Way Magazine


"April 2007 Music Connection Live Show Review"

Material: Singer/songwriter Katrina Parker performs tunes in a style closely related to Norah Jones, but with each tune owning their own distinctive approach as well. Parker is visually expressive, with her eyes and facial gestures making her interesting to watch. Parker’s music has an undeniable 40’s style of blues influence. Her strongest tunes were “Don’t Take Your Love” and “White Picket Fences.”

Musicianship: Playing an electronic keyboard, Parker keeps her sound simple, but her graceful touch on the keys makes it seem as if she is playing a grand piano. Petersen provides just the right amount of djembe for percussion, while Parker uses an effective level of reverb to make the music resemble the tones from an old Victrola. Parker has great timbre in her voice that comes off strong, vibrant and alive. Her voice brings the notes to life without any distractions.

Performance: Parker was “fashionably late” starting her set, but the result was worth the wait. She maintained a slow, mellow groove with good song dynamics –– her tunes built steadily, climaxed and then fell back. Her only apparent weakness was in audience interaction, which was basically little more than announcing the song title. However, what she lacked in interaction, she more than made up for with her music, which included very capable covers of tunes from Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.

Summary: Listening to Katrina Parker’s music is like taking a journey back to the vintage days of WWII. The payoff culminates in powerful songs that produce a connection with the present. Parker’s music would be perfect for song placements; and, in time she may want to consider the big band approach.
- Bob Legget, www.musicconnection.com


"The Patriot News MMC10 Recommendations"

Katrina Parker of Los Angeles gets instant props from me for using a piano as her main instrument and extra props for playing it well. She has one of the prettiest voices I've heard. It's haunting and expressive, and her lyrics are poignant and lovely. Her sound is distinctly her own, but reminds me a little of Fiona Apple on the "Tidal" album -- bluesy and soulful with jazz undertones. Her song "Killing Me" is the best of the ones I've heard. - Alexis Dow, The Patriot News


"Women's Rising review of "Only Dreaming""

The Los Angeles based artist, Katrina Parker, will softly steal in and capture your deepest listening desires. From the CD Only Dreaming, Killing Me with vocals and piano is smoky, sultry, moody. Parker is powerful, strong and emotional. Thinking it Over is heart-moving, softly swaying, enigmatically peaceful, and a lulling lullaby charm. Running hits a high note both in music and the theme of love’s longing. Only Dreaming, the title cut, highlights it all in one song. All in all, this CD is for the mood to listen. Sit down, dim the lights, get a glass of wine and you’ll find yourself dreaming right along with Parker in another space and time. - www.womensrising.com


"Smother Magazine Review of "Only Dreaming""

Katrina might share her name with one of the most devastating natural disasters on record. And her vocals are just as powerful. Arming herself with a haunting voice and cleverly penned lyrics, Parker writes poignant songs with vocal jazz underlinings and a determined pop exterior. If you're a big time fan of female singer/songwriters in the vein of Imogen Heap (both her Frou Frou and solo material), Feist, and Allison Krauss, you'll find yourself absolutely in love with this tremendous musician. - J-Sin, www.smother.net


Discography

"Only Dreaming" - 2005

"The Katrina CD" Compilation – 2005

"The Next Wave" Braun & Brains Compilation – 2006

Recent News and Updates:

9/23/08 - Thanks to everyone who came out to Katrina's September 19th show at Tangier! The room was packed, and Katrina was thrilled by the enthusiastic response. She'll be spending the rest of this year at work on her new EP, which should be ready for release in early 2009. Please check back for updates.

8/10/08 – The latest Damone Roberts newsletter includes a write-up on Katrina’s music, contributed by Sarah Agajanian. Damone Roberts stars in TLC’s hit series “10 Years Younger” and is a world renowned “Eyebrow King” whose work has graced such famous faces as Madonna, Beyonce, Mandy Moore, and Vanessa Williams. See Katrinaparker.com to link to the article.

7/22/08 – Thanks to everyone who came to last night’s 88’s Cabaret honoring the music of Babyface and benefitting the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation. Katrina did an acoustic rendition of the Mary J. Blige hit “Not Goin’ Cry” and received a standing ovation from David Foster and Babyface himself. It was a great night, and we appreciate all of you who showed your support.

5/15/08 - Katrina has posted some new piano/vocal demos done live in the studio to her myspace page! See Myspace.com/katrinaparker for more.

4/8/08 - Thanks to all of you who came out to Monday's show at the Republic! Also, a special thanks to those who contributed their time and talents to the evening including Amy Lochmoeller, the staff of the Republic, Heather Lloyd, all the fantastic musicians who graced the stage, and of course Ryan Black for organizing this show and making it happen.

3/17/08 – Mark your calendars now for April 7th at The Republic Restaurant & Lounge! See and hear Katrina accompanied by violin and cello at this special event! See the Calendar page for more details, and please spread the word.

2/18/08 – Katrina’s posted a new piano/vocal on her myspace page “You Won’t Be The First”, the first of many done live in the studio in 2008.

1/18/08 – Katrina’s been added to lineup of artists showcasing at this year’s San Diego Indie Music Fest, taking place the last weekend in March!

1/1/08 - Katrina's been asked take part in Don't Call Us Tori's 4th Anniversary Show at the Derby. The January 31st show features music by Katrina, Andrea Marchant, Marina V., and Julie Neumark. See Katrinaparker.com for more on this event!

11/26/07 - Katrina has been added to the roster of artists playing a fundraiser this Friday, November 30th at the Sherry Theater in North Hollywood, CA. All proceeds will go to fire fighters who recently battled the devastating fires in Southern California. More details can be found at Myspace.com/sherrytheatrebenefit.

11/1/07 - Due to a broken tailbone, Katrina has been out of commission for the last few months. During that time, she's been writing and prepping new songs for recording and performance. 2008 show dates should be up very soon.

6/1/07 - Some new piano/vocal demos have been posted on Katrina's myspace page. Go to Myspace.com/katrinaparker to give them a listen.

4/15/07 - A review of Katrina's March 5th show at Tangier is in this week's edition of Music Connection. See the Press section for the full review.

3/15/07 - Katrina received news that she is one of 6 finalists in the "Best Female" category of the So Cal Music Live Competition. The final competition will be held at the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana on Saturday, March 24th. The winners will be announced during an event at the Derby on April 6th.

1/31/07 - "Only Dreaming" has been reviewed by Women's Rising Music. See Katrinaparker.com or go to the Press section for more.

11/20/06 - One Way Magazine has written an article about Katrina in their latest issue. The piece focuses on the changing face of the Indie Music industry and includes several quotes from an interview they did with Katrina back in October. One Way is available at most record stores in the Los Angeles area. See the Press section or go to Onewaymagazine.com for the article in its entirety!

See Katrinaparker.com for more...

Photos

Bio

"...A smoky, show-stopper of a cabaret voice."
-Tulsa Weekly

"Haunting and expressive...poignant and lovely..."
-The Patriot News

"...Listening to Katrina Parker’s music is like taking a journey back to the vintage days of WWII. The payoff culminates in powerful songs that produce a connection with the present."
–Music Connection

"...Katrina Parker provide(s) moments of truth and grace..."
-The Houston Chronicle

"...Intelligent lyrics and vocal capability..."
-Paste Magazine

"[Katrina Parker] sings love songs, but she sings them with realistic optimism and an adult perspective on her own emotional world, capturing the heart and spirit of the women of her generation in a way that other singer-songwriters often fail to accomplish."
-Northeast In Tune Magazine

"Los Angeles based artist Katrina Parker will softly steal in and capture your deepest listening desires..."
–Women Rising Music

"...Arming herself with a haunting voice and cleverly penned lyrics, [Katrina] Parker writes poignant songs with vocal jazz underlinings and a determined pop exterior..."
–Smother Magazine

"...Katrina Parker is definitely an artist worth watching."
-The Music Edge

"...Sultry and commanding and inviting without even the slightest hint of pretentiousness..."
-1340 Mag

"Only Dreaming is an EP that incorporates a dreamy intimacy into adult pop music...If Katrina Parker has more songs in her, [this] may be the start of something very, very big."
-Phantom Tollbooth

These are just some of the things people have to say about Katrina Parker and her 2005 EP "Only Dreaming." Six songs recorded in Los Angeles, CA and co-produced by composer Shaun Drew, "Only Dreaming" was Katrina’s first foray into recording and releasing her own music, a simple and understated set of songs that garnered praise from both critics and fans alike.

Katrina is currently at work recording a new CD. Due out in 2009, it promises to be an eclectic mix of music that runs the gamut from sweeping pop ballads to gothic gypsy love songs.

Katrina performs regularly in the L.A. and Southern CA area, connecting with her audience on a personal level with songs about love, loss, and life. See Katrinaparker.com for a full calendar of events.