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MAY 15TH, 2023

SPOILER ALERT: This is a perfect album.

With Calico Katie Boeck has mined interior heartache, culled life experience, and crafted compositions of an exquisite nature. This is a mature album. An album that doesn’t pander. It brings to the table a collection of acoustic grooves, angelic vocals, astute lyrics, and atmospheric production that elicits auras and attracts ears.  It’s music for those who have been through the crucible of relational fire and come out the other side purified, with a clearer vision on how to navigate the world and the dangerous shoals of relationships, motherhood, artistry, agency. This is an elemental album: earth, air, fire, water. This album is the breath of life.

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With such smart lyrics, subtle acoustic guitar licks, and poetic turns of phrase, the obvious reference points are Joni Mitchell and artists of her ilk, but Katie and her team have just dropped a masterclass album on how to be a singer songwriter in 2023. Or 1973. Or 2003. It is timeless. It is a perfectly realized project. It is a work where peace of mind has been granted. Eight tracks with an additional three transitional instrumentals that demand the repeat loop ad infinitum. And while it’s easy to find comparisons with other female artists that fall in the folk pop category, I couldn’t help thinking of Kenny Loggins’ incredibly underrated 1991 record Leap of Faith as a brotherly lodestone.

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Calico is an album that should be listened to in depth for the first 20 times. Let it be subsumed into the soul. It will undoubtedly become an everyday record. A lazy afternoon record. A soft Sunday record. Songs for healing. Music as balm. In the final track, “While I’m Still Human”, Katie sings:

“Ashes to ashes 
Dust to dust  
We’re safe in our castles 
But think of the ones 
We could build together 
If ever we choose to come down” 

Katie knows that keeping a scorecard of winners and losers in love is a pointless endeavor, that we should get out of the clouds, our individual eyries, and connect with truth and honesty and heart. But there is definitely a winner here. And that’s us: the listener. Katie has built the perfect castle. Let us all follow her in.

- Trent Ryan Smith

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