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Tim's House

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Album Review

Who needs record companies in the Internet age? Certainly not Kate Walsh, whose album Tim's House was named in honor of producer Tim Bidwell, in whose house the album was recorded. Picked up by Mercury Records, part of the giant Universal Music corporation, they gave it an official physical release — and it would appear at this stage that the public lost interest, or all those who were ever going to buy it had already done so, for it limped into the chart at number 75 for one week only. A glance at the song titles and one might be fooled into thinking they were all cover versions — "Your Song," "Talk of the Town," "Don't Break My Heart," "Tonight" — but they are not. Every song is an original composition written by Walsh. But what about the music? Well, when a singer/songwriter begins the process, it is generally a song sung with a minimum of accompaniment, either a simple guitar or keyboard, and that's exactly how Walsh left virtually all of the songs: with minimal backing. Usually one guitar is strummed gently, with her voice plaintively singing and putting every ounce of emotion into the lyrics, most of which relate to her childhood experiences in her hometown of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. Sometimes she multi-tracks her vocals and harmonizes, but more often there is just one obvious vocal on the track; sometimes a violin joins in the musical accompaniment, but Walsh was obviously more interested in putting the songs across than any arrangements to potentially enhance them — and it works a treat. Her voice comes over clearly on every track, and one knows precisely what the songs are trying to say. An absolutely beautiful album with emotional songs about ordinary subjects, Tim's House deserved to reach a wider audience.


Born: 1983 in Burnham-On-Crouch, England

Genre: Contemporary Folk

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British singer/songwriter Kate Walsh became one of the U.K.'s most celebrated newcomers with the release of her second album, Tim's House, which became the first album by an unsigned artist to ever top the digital charts. Born in 1983 in Burnham-on-Crouch, a quiet fishing community in the town of Essex, she was surrounded by a wide variety of music while growing up, from her father's Pink Floyd records to her brother's electronic music. While still a young girl, Walsh took piano lessons and developed...
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