Though just 21 years old, indie songstress Katie Armiger is set to release her fourth studio album on longtime label home Cold River Records. The 14 song collection, Fall Into Me, due in stores January 15, is an exciting step for the young singer/songwriter as she sheds some of the sweet, girl-next-door feel of 2010’s Confessions of a Nice Girl in favor of a more experienced, riskier sound.
Working again with producer Chad Carlson, Katie handles most of the songwriting on Fall Into Me, co-writing every track. The bluesy lead single “Better In A Black Dress,” which is Katie’s highest charting to date, emphasizes her growth both as an artist and as a young woman. Against swampy resonator guitar and a stirring groove full of hand claps and acoustic tones, Katie delivers the simple truth that she’s old enough to know she’s not ready to settle down. Her beautiful, arching, whoa-oh-ohs, are captivating and pristine while her ability to manipulate melodies shows that she’s in complete control.
Katie has always had an undeniable talent for pop-flavored country. The insta-catchy riffs and big choruses on songs like the love torn “Merry Go Round,” and the irresistible “Not Too Late” are reminiscent of her 2009 breakout single, “Best Song Ever.” However, she shows off an exciting new side when she focuses this energy into the moodier material on Fall Into Me. “He’s Gonna Change” pounds hard with a rolling, self-aware chorus full of wonderful contrasts when, that sun up there in the sky starts pouring rain…and the oceans turn to dust. On the very contemporary sounding, “Man I Thought You Were,” the disillusionment is real, but Katie can’t hate the other woman, ‘cause I know she’ll find out soon, what kind of man he really is when what goes around comes around. The modern honky tonk of “Playin’ With Fire,” one of the album’s finest songs, cuts deep with an unforgettably intense chorus. I know you’re like playing with fire but I like the burn, she sings soulfully with a touch of Miranda Lambert’s power.
Katie’s a Texan like Miranda and she can belt ‘em out like Carrie, but she comes into her own on Fall Into Me through a unique blend of modern and traditional. The frayed guitar and double-time chorus of “I’m Free” are rooted firmly in time-honored country, but her sassy delivery through the lines, You go on and on about this or that, give the song a fresh new edge. On the rebellious country blues of “Stealing Hearts,” which comes equipped with banjo and dobro, Katie’s ‘taking names’ with a smirk and a dynamic voice while she finds the next sucker.
Throughout Fall Into Me, it’s clear that Katie’s delivery is only getting better. Her reach on the self-assured ballad, “Okay Alone,” takes the record to new heights while the gentle, acoustic album-closer, “Safe” (co-written and performed with the fantastic Mallary Hope), displays gorgeous harmonies and wonderful inflections. Katie’s delicate voice wraps around the song to let the loving emotions hang rich through the air. It’s a touching close to an album that is destined to have listeners falling for Katie.
Key Tracks – “Playin’ With Fire,” “Safe,” “Stealing Hearts,” “He’s Gonna Change”