If someone were to give you a pop quiz identifying a place with soul music, Sheffield, England, probably wouldn’t be at the top of your list. However, good music (regardless of genre) can come from anywhere, and Kat Eaton is proof. She is a Welsh-born singer who makes her home in Sheffield, and makes soul music as good as any band from Memphis.
Talk to Me is her debut album, but you’d never know it from her easy yet strong vocals and melodies that will have you swaying.
Right from the beginning, you can’t help but notice the similarity to Hannah Williams. “Barricade” has a steady beat, horn swells, and Eaton sings in a smooth voice that is full of soul.
Lots of songs have been written about drunkenly reaching out to an old lover who has moved on to someone else. Eaton really nails the theme in “Checking In”. In it, the narrator starts innocently enough, requesting that her former lover forward her mail. She goes on to wonder if her old flame is watering the plant that she bought on sale. She also wonders if any trace of her remains in her old love’s place. The melody of this one has a similar vibe to Tedeschi Trucks Band.
“Lottery Ticket” is a song that could just as easily be on a Lake Street Dive album. The melody is groovy and the vocals are easy and soulful. In it, Eaton delivers the message “She’s your winning lottery ticket. Boy, you really won first prize. It’s sad because you don’t even know it.” It’s easy to imagine this becoming an anthem for women who feel unappreciated.
“Put Yourself in My Arms” is a great tune with the organ bringing Booker T to mind. The guitar has the clean sound that you expect in a soul song. The horns bring a brightness to the song, and the lyrics are easy to sing. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself playing this one on repeat.
This is a solid debut album. Eaton’s vocals are strong without being overpowering. She sings with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. The melodies are easy to dance to, and the lyrics are likely to get stuck in your head.