There seems to be a trend brewing in Nashville that has labels looking for young female artists who are photogenic, marketable and can sing. Singing seems to be the third on most labels lists, especially with auto tune so prevalent in mainstream music production nowadays. Fortunately for Katie Armiger, she possesses a voice that is often rich like LeAnn Rimes and a smart songwriting talent that finds Armiger penning all but one track on her sophomore album “Believe.”
“Jealousy” leads off the record and the production (by Jonathan Lawson) instantly places Armiger firmly in the same musical territory as Miranda Lambert. It’s a song in the same vein as Miranda’s “Crazy-Ex Girlfriend” and the rollicking melody sets up the record quite nicely. It’s tough to leave those we love at home to go do something we’ve dreamed of doing but sometimes we have to just follow our hearts and Katie has managed to capture those emotions on the self-written “Gone.”
Everyone’s dated someone who never took the time to know you better. “Unseen” is a song that asks why superficial people seem to never ‘get it.’ Written by Whitney Duncan, Brian Nash and Jennifer Schott, “Unseen” is the kind of immediate, emotionally strong song that careers are based upon. With a strong melody and a flawless vocal from Katie Armiger, the song is a hit, if only radio will play it. “Trail Of Lies” is another strong song written by Armiger with Quinn Loggins and Lisa McCallum. With a bluesy vocal delivery, Katie sings about being weary about a lying man.
Ashlee Hewitt is one of Katie Armiger’s best friends and together they’ve created four tracks that truly showcase what an emerging talent both girls are. On “Movin’ On” the duo writes about the ups and downs of relationships while Hewitt produces the stunning power ballad “Bleed.” Katie really showcases how powerful and emotive her vocals are. This is the kind of vocal performance that many vocal dynamos have made their career on. Lyrically, Bleed, which Katie wrote by herself, is very haunting. The other two tracks, “Wash Away” and “Make Me Believe” are both lyrically and vocally strong as well.
Jonathan Lawson and Katie co-wrote “The Road Is Calling” and together they sing a duet that isn’t unlike something you might hear on Lady Antebellum’s record. Their voices blend together nicely (even if Lawson’s voice seems to be mixed higher than Armiger’s). This is a fun, summertime driving song that has a joyful melody backing it up (with many of the instruments played by Lawson.
Katie Armiger may not be signed to a large record label but her talent is certainly on-par with the talent found on such record labels. “Believe” is the kind of record that can be for her record company Cold River Records what Taylor Swift has been for Big Machine Records, it’s that good. No. It’s better than Taylor’s album because Katie Armiger has a better voice and that is showcased throughout “Believe.”
Click the album cover to listen to a sample of "Unseen."