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Fate Is the Hunter

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Album Review

Kate Earl's debut has an understated glow about it, a quiet allure that comes from a bright, almost naïvely honest young singer working with a crew of sure-handed musicians. Earl migrated to Los Angeles from Chugiak, AK. That's near Anchorage. But she sounds at home in front of a California band that includes (at various points) Mitchell Froom, Michael Penn, Wendy Melvoin, members of Incubus, Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks), and sound artist/pedal steel manipulator Chas Smith. Earl's vocals are throaty, expressive, and pristinely clear. She's a less strident Joss Stone over the winking strings of "Silence," but delicate and half-asleep on "Free," where Scher's pedal steel and the pump organ of Patrick Warren add hundreds of style points. Earl's songwriting on Fate Is the Hunter has some gravity — she's a girl just trying to make her way in the world, or a lover, or lost thoughts and memories where darkness whispers amidst the happiness. But it's really her unadorned vocal over Hunter's finely rendered instrumentation that makes the record shimmer like an L.A. sunset. "Cry Sometimes" is a gorgeous cut, a slice of soft rock that goes back to Carly Simon or Rickie Lee Jones, and "Sweet Sixteen" is breezy with brushed acoustic strings and a great, vocal saxophone in a supporting role. "When You're Older" feels like the single — it could be Tegan & Sara. That's not wrong, but it doesn't quite fit with tracks like the ambitious, steadily building "Anything" or the touching Alaska diary "Come This Far." That's OK. For a debut, Fate Is the Hunter hits its marks wonderfully, offering grace, gravity, simplicity, and well-played, well-placed instrumentation.

Customer Reviews

So much Better than "forever your girl" ...

Now my goal here is to not say "AMAZING" a single time while "reviewing" this album, it’s going to be hard. But everyone else already killed that word. So.... Kate Earl, and this album have helped me get through MANY MANY DAY'S that I though would never end at work. (THANKS, KATE) I first heard her on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, and was pretty much blown away. (don't worry I’m ok, I didn't bump my head or anything) This album is simply... AMAZ... (almost). GREAT. great flow, great lyrical content, amazi.....I mean.. GREAT voice... SIMPLE, CLEAN, AND REAL… Paula has nothing on you, Kate.


Playing around on iTunes led me to Fate Is The Hunter and I was immediately intrigued. Her beauty shines through her vocals. Her ballads are well thought out and you'll find yourself relating to more than one or two songs. She captures you emotionally and leaves you thinking about her songs long after you've listened.

Fate is the hunter

Crisp, real and simple. She has a natural feel that makes it easy to listen to. She seems to sing from her heart. Nice stuff at a time when a lot of young artists are forcing depth that they haven't earned.


Born: 1983 in Chugiak, AK

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Songwriter Kate Earl grew up in Chugiak, Alaska, where she began her career by blending the phrasing of Cat Power and Björk with the folk-chanteuse influence of Joni Mitchell. Although heavily involved with her local church, Earl moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and quickly made an impression on the town, scoring airplay on KCRW and Indie 103.1 while catching the ear of Record Collection, a Venice-based label that eventually signed her. She continued to log West Coast performances as she recorded her...
Full Bio
Fate Is the Hunter, Kate Earl
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Customer Ratings