An assortment of homegrown talent infused with Bay Area edge, the Reno music scene has been sustained by a diversity of musical styles, ranging from ska and punk to jazz and metal. Among the subculture of singer/songwriters, whose sound is marked by zany soulfulness is Kate Cotter, a Reno native whose ethereal voice, poetic craftmanship, and off-beat sense of humor has earned her a loyal following. As the arts editor from the local weekly describes her: “It is the rare artist who can weave metaphor-rich lyrics, haunting vocals and catchy melodies into something that is neither self-serious nor sticky-sweet, something that falls on the indie side of pop and well-groomed side of folk.” Although reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, and at times drawing comparisons to Imogen Heap, Sarah McLachlan, and Dido, Cotter’s breathy voice has its own hypnotic charm. Cited by the Reno News & Review as being “the most popular female singer-songwriter to come out of Reno in the last 25 years,” Cotter has won numerous prestigious awards and honors, including the Nevada Arts Council Fellowship and the Sierra Arts Foundation Performing Arts Grant. She was also voted among the "Best Local Musicians" in Northern Nevada for 2006, 2007, and 2009 and has shared the stage with a wide range of musicians, including the likes of Brett Dennen, folk legend John Gorka, and Seth Horan (formerly of Vertical Horizon).
A nomad at heart, Cotter has toured nationally and internationally, often weaving the experiences of her travels into the texture of her music. Cotter’s first album "Point of Real" was released in 2002 and is an acoustic ballad-rich contemplation of the beautiful absurdity of human relationships and meditation on the divine. Cotter draws from the landscape of the unconscious and the profound details of everyday life; with allusions to parables and pilgrimages, her songs probe the crisis of what it means to be fully known and knowable to one another and one’s self. To quote from the album, Cotter’s music expresses “how by living we are healed.” Her second and third albums, "August" and "Drink the Desert," were both released to a packed house at John Ascuaga's Celebrity Showroom (a venue graced by entertainers such as Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Indigo Girls, etc.) generating headlines such as "Nothing Hotter than Kate Cotter” and earning "August" the title of "Best Local Album" for Northern Nevada for 2007. While honoring the acoustic roots of the first album, "August" incorporates an electric edge, punctuated by violin and trumpet.
Driven by these added musical elements, as well as Cotter’s truly haunting voice, "August" is a darker, more lyrically introspective album than her first. But ultimately, "August" is imbued with Cotter’s infectious and unwavering faith in the mystery of life and the hope of redemption. In this powerful second album, a wiser, more mature Cotter proves that musical integrity and experimentation do not have to be sacrificed for commercial appeal. Cotter’s third and newest release "Drink the Desert" is a departure from the pop/rock-oriented August with its lush, and sometimes edgy, string-laden production, laced with a hint of Americana. "Drink the Desert" is driven by violin, cello and Cotter’s accomplished folk guitar in addition to featuring standup bass and mandolin, melodica and piano.
The new album showcases Cotter’s beautifully haunting vocals, lyrical songwriting and memorable melodies. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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