Come with Me
Come with Me is available via:
Pop; Electro; R&B
London, U.K./Karlsruhe, Germany
16th February, 2018
Katharsis and Oscar Neidhardt
MIXED AND MASTERED BY:
I am noticing a few things happening in music…
that I had not picked up on before. I will take a look at Katharsis in a minute but, thinking about her situation and personality; I am compelled to raise a few other points first. Although she is London-based; Katharsis has German blood and, in music, I am seeing more German artists come my way. I want to look at the debut stage and the tools for success; finding new love and how that can influence music and songwriting; playing in London and making the most of the city; providing a new insight into music and revealing bits about one’s personality; fusing sounds together in a new way – where she will head throughout 2018. I want to start with Germany: a nation that keeps coming to mind. Katharsis has done it the other way but, what I find, is that musicians are settling in Germany and making a life for themselves there – Berlin seems to be the most popular place for aspiring creativities. I am not sure what it is about the nation – I have never been there – but I am told there is a way of life that differs from anywhere else. Berlin offers the thrill and variety of London without the expense and crowds. You can live there for less and get about easier – it is attracting a lot of people over there. Other parts of Germany are appealing to musicians but, for the most part, Berlin is the place to go. One would forgive artists for going over there is the U.K. was that bad a place to live in – that is not true so, I think, there is something extra and special in Germany. That might sound like a lazy sentence (grammar got away from me there!) but it is the people and the warmth; the history and the diversity of the music scene. Whether you are moving to Germany or coming from there: there is something innately magical and appealing about the country.
Karlsruhe-native Katharsis has come to the U.K. and is living in London – she takes her German roots and D.N.A. to the capital. I wonder whether Berlin was an option for her along the line or whether, seeing others come to London, there was only ever one choice for her. Not only do we get a great artist in London making music for us: Katharsis provides the new scene here with something special and unique. I will talk more about that but, when seeing her story and listening to the music, I can hear elements of German Electronic fused with Pop/Indie of the U.S. and U.K. It is an intriguing blend which makes me wonder whether we should look more at Germany and why it is so popular. I have been a bit harsh on London, perhaps: there is a reason why so many artists come over here and make music. In the case of Katharsis; she wants the opportunities and venues here; there are great fans and different nationalities living alongside one another - the sheer inspiration and wonder of the city. Whether you view Germany as one of the fastest-rising nations for new music or not – you cannot deny there is something about the country that allures and attracts. Katharsis, and her German peers, think differently to other artists and have a fresh perspective to work. We all know there is that German reputation for efficiency and a hard work ethic: that feeds into the music and the way artists go about things. Katharsis (Freya Volk) has settled in London and fuses the best of Germany and the U.K. into her sounds. One gets stunning and focused sounds together with the freedom and experimentation of London – a swirling blend of genres with the passion of Germany. I wonder whether Katharsis will move back to Germany or spend some time in Berlin. That is not a suggestion or way of getting rid of her: with new music out; she could get some great gigs in Berlin and, when she has seduced there, come back to the U.K. and play here.
Come with Me is the debut of Katharsis. She has recorded other music before – and performed a live session video of the track, Apple Water – but this is the solo outing for her. It is quite nervy and scary having that first song out and trying to get to the people. I get annoyed at some artists because they feel putting out the minimum is okay. It does not matter whether you are on the first single or the tenth: throwing out a few photos and no information is not good enough. You can argue new artists do not have the money and opportunities to have a lot of photos – that is wrong: everyone can take their own photos and get them online – but the modern age means every artist can put up a professional and full social media spread without spending too much money. It is irritating hearing excuses and people shirk responsibility and visibility. If I were a musician; I would hire a photographer to take a dozen snaps or so – different poses or settings – and pay that money out. I have my own website so, apart from that, it is personal information required. That would not take much time so, before I have even released a song; everything would be waiting for listener and journalists. That does not seem too tough, does it?! I would only spend a little bit and, whatever the cost, it would be worth it – you stand out from the crowd and attract the eye. This is not a long-winded and cruel kick at Katharsis: she is one of the few people who understand there need to be images out there and something for her audience. She has a biography out there – would be good to know which musicians inspire her and what she grew up on – and there are some great-quality images. One gets a mix of colour and black-and-white; there are social media links and you can readily hear Come with Me.
I will move on to other things but, before then, I will remain on this point. I know there are a lot of considerations for artists when they put out the debut single. They have to launch themselves to the world like a job interview. All the information needs to be correct; they need to be smart and polite; say the right things and compete with so many other people. There is a lot to take in and understand – getting all of that right can be a real task! You might say the song itself is the most important thing to get right and hone – that would be right! There are other things artists need to consider aside from the material itself. The music industry is as much about the electronic, social media side of things as it is the core sounds. Artists need to launch themselves with as much impact as they can from the very off. Ensuring you have a solid social media outlay and keep your audience informed and updated is vital. I am seeing too many overlook this and struggle to compete with other musicians. Katharsis has been in music for a little bit and spent most of her life around music. It was only natural she would make music herself and choose it as a career. I am excited seeing how far she will go in the industry: this debut cut is a big step and the introduction of a world-class artist. I would understand if Katharsis put out a fantastic song but her social media was a little lacking and slight. She has considered everything and, as she looks ahead, that will only get stronger. Right now, she is in a better position than most of her peers. Maybe that harks back to her German roots and sense of structure – I do not want to go to national stereotypes and owe it all to Germany.
Finding new love and making it work is only easy in theory: the realities of making a relationship work and grow is a lot tougher than you’d think. We have all been in the situation when love has come into life and has affected us in a real way. I am seeing songwriters stray away from love and start to look more into themselves. Modern songwriters are becoming introspective and talking about their personal struggles and thoughts. Although many are moving that way; there are some remaining in more traditional areas and talking about their experiences of love. Katharsis’ Freya Volk, I’m sure, has been in the position where she’s had her heart broken and been screwed around – everyone will have faced this predicament at some point in their life. Rather than put down a rather harsh and suffocated romance onto the page (for the debut); she has penned something hopeful and inspired. I will talk about the song when I get there but, when thinking of Come with Me, there is a hopeful and positive outlook. You get impressions of a young woman who has a wise and practical approach to the music; she has an open heart and knows the listener wants to discover something with a positive bent. I am sure there will be more anxious songs through her career but, right now, she is in a better place. As more songwriters move towards their journal entries – and away from the pages of their diary – there is that pressure, for those who remain in relationship territory, to try something new and evolved. Sticking with the tried-and-tired approach to music means a lot of songwriters are ending their careers early. It is tough to write about something as everyday and broad as love and do so in a fresh and inspiring way.
Again; this sounds like me winding up my boots and waiting to punt Katharsis in the rear. In fact, like before, it is a compliment. She will record a lot more material and address other themes and she progresses: coming in with a song that talks about relations and love is, actually, quite a brave move. Modern Pop and Electro is changing and, because of that, it can be hard gauging what is required and what is ‘fashionable’. Rather than fit into niches and cliques; Katharsis is writing from the heart and mixing something personal and classic. You get something relatable and tangible but, alongside that, a new angle on love. My overall point is Katharsis has managed to produce something that can bring people together and strike the heart. Come with Me makes you think and it challenges the listener to consider their own lives. Even though her love life is personal and complicated; I can listen to her debut song and relate to Katharsis. She manages to project a song that will resonate with everyone who hears it but, after you have finished listening; there is a little mystery and room for interpretation. Few new songwriters can create something that complex yet simple – a trick I look forward to seeing in many future recordings. Living in London; there are ample opportunities for Katharsis; she has so many stories by her feet and people to interact with. I am not sure how influential love will be when it comes to more singles and an E.P. The reason why love songs are popular and commercial is because we can, in some way, relate. Even if the lyrics are generic and samey – which they are not in Katharsis’ case – one can take something away that has meaning. You might argue those writers who talk about love in a very personal way would alienate the listener. Somehow; Katharsis has managed to bridge the familiar and unique and released a song that produces new insight and revelation every time you hear it.
Later today; I will talk about the North and why music there should be celebrated and highlighted – the new breed and some classic artists. I said I would step away from London but, as I have concentrated on other areas recently; it seems like I am owed a return to the city. The same argument can be applied to other cities around the world. I wondered, earlier, why Katharsis would move from where she lived in Germany to the U.K. It is not as simple as saying, if you live in Germany, then Berlin or, say, Hamburg would be a natural next step. The same is true of anyone living anywhere else in the U.K. – and the thought they would go to London or Manchester. Whilst the city is not to everybody’s tastes; there is something about the people and culture that draws songwriters in. In the case of London; all the best art comes from here; there are fantastic musicians and wonderful venues to explore. Katharsis plays The Finsbury soon – a place I am very familiar with – and there are going to be so many other venues requesting her services. Not only does she have possible gigs in every corner of the capital: the people and day-to-day life will, surely, compel new music and ideas. On top of that; there is the multicultural aspect and cosmopolitan vibe of the city. It is impossible to spend any length of time in London and not be affected in some way. That sort of promise is why many songwriters come here and make a life for themselves. So many are concerned with rent prices and how hard it can be to make it over in London. The realities are clear: it is not easy to live and succeed in a city that gets more packed and expensive by the year! The negatives are there – and there for obvious reasons – but there are numerous positives for artists to concentrate on. Getting the best out of the city can be a hard thing to achieve. Katharsis has taken the leap and come to a country that could have swallowed her up. Rather than become scared and daunted by the city; she has tackled it head-on and immersed herself in the people.
I am sure she undergoes the same stresses as everyone who lives there – smelling butt on the Tube; getting hip-checked down Oxford Street; being stuck in a cab during rush-hour as the meter spins towards suggestions of bankruptcy – but the city is so huge…it is possible to get something wonderful from it. As a musician; she is in a fantastic place to find support, like-minded artists and willing venues. Getting the music right and honed – so that she gets those requests – is an important part of the business plan. That has already happened with Come with Me but, because it has only been out a couple of days; it is hard to say how what reaction people will afford it. I know it is already receiving press – excluding myself – and people are responding in some way. As spring approaches; I am sure Katharsis will launch new material and think about an E.P. That debut single is always daunting for an artist: knowing whether it will endure and prove popular; will it get airplay and focus from bigger sources? I do not think she needs to worry too much about that. The track is amazing and she is in a city that can provide that exposure and love. Katharsis is a hard-working artist who is always pounding and getting her music out there. It is wonderful seeing any new artist take their first steps into the business: those who do so in London have all that opportunity and area to cover. I am thrilled for Katharsis and know she will go a long way in the business. I will come to look at the song in a bit but, before I do; I wanted to end with a look at fresh sounds and fusions – that which the music industry needs to see more of.
Katharsis has come from her native Germany and has a Classical upbringing. She grew up around some of the Classical greats and had a very different start to life. Now, in London, she is more exposed to Pop and R&B; she ties in the Classical past with modern, commercial sounds but, rather than lazily throw them together; what one gets is an assured and dynamic combination that I have, for one, have not heard. Come with Me was produced by Katharsis and Oscar Neidhardt and exposes her dreamy, sensual and multi-layered vocals. It is fantastic hearing all those colours and ideas coalesce into something magnificent and unique. What strikes me is the confidence Katharsis has right from the off. The song gets right into the mind and compels you to play it time and time again. It is a fresh and summer-ready smash but one that has a beating heart and sensitive soul. I will talk more about the song’s origins and story when I review it but, looking back; I am affected by the complexities working away. It is clear Katharsis has grown up around music and it fed into her blood at a very young age – that passion has continue and heightened as she has grown older. The fact her track does not repeat what is out there is a because of a few things. Taking that German background and melting it into the eclecticism of London is one thing. Katharsis has a personality like nobody else and thinks differently – her music, therefore, will reflect that. She is someone who knows what it takes to succeed and will do everything it takes to make it happen. I love how there are strands of R&B and Pop working away but things never feel cluttered or predictable. You get fresh sensations and nuances from an artist who does not want to see her music lost and buried among the more average and uninspired sort.
Come with Me is all about dreaminess and taking things easy. The composition – light piano, finger-clicks and suggested beats – ease into the foreground and whisper like a haunted smoke. The heroine’s voice, therefore, has that same smoothness and seduction. It is arresting hearing it for the first time and discovering what it does to you. It quivers and echoes but there is that strength and passion that is hard to ignore. It seems Katharsis in a safe place and in a relationship where there is give and take. It is difficult adapting to a relationship but, from what one hears, there is a sense of comfort and assuredness in her bones. The song seems to emanate and tumble from her photos. You get images and impressions of late-night conversations and pillow-talk. There are all these suggestions tumbling and, mooring it all, is that superb and comforting voice. It is hard not to be taken and impacted by Katharsis’ tones and emotions. This is all new to her – the closest she has come to love – but there is a sense of understanding and comfort. It is strange and uncertain going into any bond but, right now, the heroine is solid and safe in her convictions. The early days can often lead someone to a feeling of longevity and security – the longer things go on, the more likely cracks are to form. That is not a shot at the relationship but the reality for many. There are piano flourishes and tiny little details that bring the lyrics to life and cause the listener to conspire and dream. Come with Me gets into the head like a drug and makes the heart beat a bit faster. Following the story; I see the lovers awake at night discussing life. The conversations, to me, are less serious and have a sense of fun to them. They are chatting about their days and what they want to achieve together.
Past the mid-way point; new revelations and ideas come to mind. The chorus sees the heroine tackle the future – everything needed is “right in front of me” – and look far ahead. It is encouraging seeing that clarity and positivity come to her eyes and set her on a course. I feel this love has come from a bad period where men have messed her about and made false promises. Rather than accuse and dwell on those times; you get a sense of a woman who has found someone solid and trustworthy that will lead her wherever she needs to go. I wonder whether this excitement and certainty belies the fact the love is in its infancy and subject to fallibility and entropy. That sounds sceptical given the facts: the heroine is happy and has no reason to doubt the guy. She is in a good headspace and is comfortable enough making plans and opening up to her sweetheart. The lovers waste the day away and are immersed in one another. Come with Me has a modern, breezy sound that can get people involved and reacting. It is simultaneously beach-ready and insular. There are washes of colour and energy but, like that, it contorts and turns the bedroom lights off. That contrast reflects the dynamics of sex and passion. The duo is free and happy enough to submit to one another but, away from the physical nature of love; there is a connection and depth that requires safeguarding and appreciation. The mantra of “We’ll be okay” is enforced and carved into granite. There is no desperation upon the delivery – it is sung in a rather uplifted manner – but I wonder what provoked those words. Maybe both have natural doubts and there is that feeling things are too good so soon – and things could go bad. Both might have bad track records and know how quickly love can go sour. The heroine might be reacting to her man’s feelings: assuring him they will be fine and she is a very loyal and dependable sort. The reverse might also be true. By the time the song trickles to the end; you get a better understanding of the heroine and why this song means so much to her. It is a heartfelt, passionate and intriguing song from a new artist who has a lot more creativity, life and promise inside her.
Katharsis plays The Finsbury tomorrow (19th) so, if you are in North London; make sure you get over there and see her play. It is a tiny venue but one with plenty of character and heart. I hope to get over there in the coming months and put a few artists up. It will be interesting seeing Katharsis grow and where she heads next. I know there is more material in her mind so, seeing what form that takes, will be interesting. I am not sure whether an E.P. is planned for this year but it is clear there is momentum and energy in the veins of the German-born artist. She will take London by storm and have so many chances placed before her. I know there is competition when it comes to Electro/Pop/R&B artists but that is not a warning: Katharsis has an edge and a U.S.P. that will see her get gigs and festival requests. As the weather gets warmer and we are all planning our festival diaries – will Katharsis be among those included in this year’s roster?! She might want to start local and get a few gigs under her belt but, after that; she will have ambitions and aims to go further. Come with Me is proof she is among the most exciting and promising new artists around. It is a song that lingers and remains lodged inside the head. I am thrilled she has come onto the scene so strong and know, with fans behind her, success will come easily. Katharsis works hard and is keen to get her music heard and appreciated. I will leave things there but, before I go, recommend people investigate her sounds and throw their weight behind her. In a packed and exciting music world; it can be hard deciphering which artists warrant approval – and those who are only here for a short time. Time itself will reveal that but, rather than weight; we all know, in our hearts, which artists are deserving and are the hungriest. Katharsis is someone you will not want to take your eyes off. Come with Me is proof she is off to a flyer and, if you follow the hidden meaning of the song’s title; those who truly appreciate her music will follow her…
WHEREVER she goes.
PHOTO CREDITS (unless credited otherwise):
Lidia Huerta (Colour) and Ben Mcconnachie (Black-and-White)