From a very young age, singer/songwriter Katie Belle knew exactly what she wanted to do. Performing on stage for the first time in third grade led to 12-year-old Katie singing solos and entering competitions. Flashing forward past various bands, exciting solo excursions, and consistent artistic improvement, present day Katie Belle fulfills those childhood ambitions with her evolving brand of energetic, danceable, heartfelt pop. And with her latest track, “Symptoms,” Katie grows more capable – more confident – as an obviously on-the-rise superstar. Let’s talk about it.
“Symptoms,” overall, is modern electronic pop featuring Katie’s whispery, vulnerable voice; it’s sultry, sure, and even playful, but there’s a subtly emoting heartache that dilutes some of the audible innocence. And yes, I realize the song kicks off with muted, delay-doused guitar notes which may fly against my “electronic pop” labeling, but trust me – it gets there.
After a few introductory bars, those muted guitar notes join with sampled claps, a thumping bass drum, a slow-stepping bass synth, and a warm, washing synth pad. And then, the instrumentation halts abruptly; a whispered confession – “I can’t stop this” – admits a helplessness against overwhelming emotional dependency before the flood gates, musically speaking, burst:
The chorus is bouncy and heavy with pulsing bass synth. Harmonizing voices deliver the lyrics, now joined by breathy electronic samples. Yes, taken lyrically, the song discusses some truly powerful longings that may evoke sympathy. But the beat, electronic pulsing, and positively nimble vocal delivery instigate immediate dancing, forgoing any concern for the narrator’s consuming obsession.
At about 2:05, the composition relaxes briefly, reduced to Katie’s harmonizing voices, some electronic clapping, and airy synths. But slowly, it rebuilds itself, bringing back its electronic orchestration piece by piece; returning to the chorus now accompanied by a powerful, higher-register vocal driving home the song’s final emotional wallop.
But is it good?
Katie Belle continues to evolve as a modern pop artist who should probably be on every contemporary Spotify playlist and FM radio station imaginable. She’s absolutely ready to break through, and I have a feeling “Symptoms” will help facilitate the global recognition she deserves.
BELOW: Listen to Symptoms and check out Katie Belle on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and several other massively popular music platforms. Please support Katie Belle by visiting her website and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing her music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music.
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