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Kat Dahlia – My Garden Album Review

kat dhaliaSinging since the age of eight.  Writing songs since fifteen.  Waiting tables six days a week until she saved up enough money to pay for studio time.  Independently funded an ep and music video.  I think it’s safe to say that twenty four year old recording artist Kat Dahlia (previously known as Kat Hue) has worked LONG and HARD to get where she is today.

With her debut album My Garden, Kat makes her official introduction to the record buying masses and welcomes you all into the garden that is her music.  With pop, hip hop, dance and even some latin influences (the bilingual song Tumbao pays tribute to the late Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz)  her garden is full of different musical pleasures to indulge your ears with.  I’d like to highlight the standout tracks and hopefully illustrate why you should buy her album.

Being so in love with a person that they consume your every thought and you find yourself doing things you thought you’d never do.  Sound familiar?  Yup because we’ve ALL gone through the wackiness of being in love and not understanding how or why we’re acting the way we are.  But then that’s the beauty of love, being able to put someone before your own needs.

With lyrics like “Is it crazy that I want you to stay when I tell you to leave.  When I tell you to go.  Is it crazy that I say your name more times a day then I say my own.  Tell me baby is it crazy?” it’s clear Kat knows what being in love feels like.  I’m curious to hear what other interpretations she’d take with this record down the line.  After looking at the lyrics and running through the track a few listens I envisioned a stripped down acoustic rendition (say with a guitar or a piano) for smaller venues while a slowed down ballad take (perhaps backed by an orchestra) for larger arenas.  Keep my ideas in mind Kat because this is the kind of song that can be played with vocally and musically allowing it to have a long shelf life.

I think I’m in love
The fear of falling again is something people struggle with (myself included) and it’s that thing people wrestle with whether in a relationship or pondering about getting into a new one.  Love is a beautiful thing but it is equally terrifying and something one has to be ready for before getting into.

Lines like “I make fun of your belly and tell you to do some crunches.  And you say yeah well your ass jiggles go and do some lunges. I say fuck you while I’m thinking of you as my husband” demonstrate the authenticity in Kat’s music.  She’s speaking truths from her heart and it’s that vulnerability she showcases in her music that allows listeners to relate to her because they too have been through the same things.

You ever sit and contemplate about your life…the decisions you’ve made, the hardships you’ve endured or the breakups you survived?  Sure we all have at some point in our lives.  As humans we need to collectively embrace that despite our differences (gender, race, sexual orientation, financial stability) we are ALL the same.  This is what I took from the song Mirror.

“Well I don’t know the price of your roof.  But the first of the month we all pay our dues.  When the rain fall it don’t rain on a few.  When the sun shine it don’t shine just on you.  I don’t know the monsters you knew. But I’m trying to forget the one’s I met too.”  Arguably the BEST track on the album, it’s a song with a deep message that could resonate with many people.  I think with aggressive promotion and word of mouth, this could be the song that catapults her career from a new artist to music superstar.

Just another dude
With a microphone and just a Spanish guitar backing her, Kat goes through the motions of heartbreak and betrayal.  “What a strange thought.  I’m running around town.  I’m trying to find my heart but it’s been shot.  By the one who holds the gun.  Oo he got me he shot me good.”

The simplicity of this song allow the words and message to take flight.  Her vocals are a little raw and at times she sounds like she’s almost screaming…but it WORKS for the song because I can feel her emotional pain.  It’s clear that whoever this man is really hurt her and it’s that pain she translates into a powerful song.  If you can’t make them love you, do what Kat Dahlia did and use that hurt to write a song about it.

My Garden invites fans both new and old into the garden that is her mind and her music.  As you listen to each track you get a sense of the different things and emotions Kat has gone through on her journey from childhood dream to recording artist.  What’s equally impressive (and worth noting) is that Kat Dahlia wrote on ten of the eleven tracks on her debut album.  I admire her for that because I feel the BEST way to introduce yourself to the world is to tell your story in your own words.

Overall My Garden is a solid debut effort and great introduction that I hope is only the beginning of a long and successful career in the music industry.  With an official album in stores and touring to promote this project, I’m already looking ahead to her next album and curious to see what her new experiences will inspire in the studio.  Good luck and continued success to you mama.
My Garden was released on January 13th online and instores with a version containing the bonus track Pleasin (also written by Kat) which can be found exclusively at Best Buy.