Kate Miller-Heidke – Curiouser

The alarm clock placed so casually in her frighteningly white hair immediately draws you to the album cover of Kate Miller-Heidke’s latest release Curiouser. Ever the non-conformist, her rigorous operatic vocal training shines through even in her cleverly written pop tracks.

Whilst remaining an unknown in the UK, Kate’s writing skills on Caught In The Crowd, the first single off the album, won her the International Songwriting Competition award for it’s clear anti-bullying message. As she emotes “I was young and caught in a crowd” you get the sense that she tells no lies; that each song she writes draws upon personal experiences to create her honest approach to lyrics.

Honesty features heavily in Kate’s music. I like you better when you’re not around is sung in a brutal narrative that can only be beaten by a non-album track The Facebook Song (Are you f*cking kidding me?) in which Kate reminisces about an ex-boyfriend who requests her friendship on the social network before she concludes “look just follow me twitter” before clicking ‘ignore’. Adding humour to her live performances is something that Kate has done for many years. Previously she’s sung about always falling for gay men and her dislike of Australian Idol, both of which have now been retired from performances, but her latest sarcastic attempt is proving to be popular with audiences.

The ultracatchy Can’t Shake It focuses on the far less serious subject of how she, quite simply, cannot shake it. Impossible to listen to without dancing to, Kate’s voice produces sounds that you never thought you’d here coming out of a human. If you ever find yourself struggling to find a smile from within, a quick YouTube of this video is sure to change that. The choreographed routine is reminiscent of awful 90s pop, yet it does so in a way that you can’t help but chuckle at fondly. Watching the video can only be topped by experiencing a live performance where the audience becomes stunned to silence, unsure of whether it is appropriate to laugh.

In The Last Day on Earth the more sombre tones of Kate’s voice are displayed. “It’s the last day on earth, in my dreams. It’s the end of the world and you’ve come back to me” forms the chorus that gained national radio coverage in her home country as it was used in the adverts for the death of a well-known character in Neighbours – how typically Australian. The heartache that is expressed hits you hard, almost forcing you into confronting your own life and your past regrets.

Combining fast paced songs such as Supergirl and Motorscooter (“I wanna take a ride on your motorscooter”), with the far more carefully sung The End of School demonstrates the abilities of Kate’s vocal range. Her Australian accent is ever prominent despite her relocation to London, and constant global travelling. Kate’s desire to perform has created a busy touring schedule for the 28 year old; London, Sydney and LA, intertwined with a one off show in Nepal to support MTV Exit.

Now living in London, Kate Miller-Heidke and husband Keir Nuttall will hopefully be playing a lot more gigs in the capital. If you’re just that little bit curious, then you’d be a fool not to attend.

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