There is something in the cold Canadian air that has been whipping up some serious talent this past decade, and it only keeps getting better. An Ontario transplant originally raised in Pennsylvania, Kate Schutt is one of those amazing musicians with a sound that combines the soul of Chan Marshall, and the soft intimate jazz of Norah Jones. Reflecting that dynamic, her albums venture smoothly between both styles with songs like Black Out, off her 2008 record The Telephone Game, which blends both seamlessly. Her lyrics are deeply personal odes to life, love, and pain, often telling stories that are as organic as the songs she creates. A reminder, if you will, of what raw talent sounds like.
Her latest release is full of stand out tracks that are sure to perk your ears. Take Me There blends classic, soulful vocals with a New Orleans-inspired jazz section that takes you deep into the emotions of the song just as well as it brings you out. Who is Young, Who Is NaÃ¯ve brings its own flavor with help from the seldom-heard gypsy style guitar. Closing out The Telephone Game could be one of her best works to date–The Actress embellishes her smooth vocals with moments that feel like a lost Sinatra cut. Schutt carries a unique take on the classic jazz and blues sound with her two albums, the first of which, No Love Lost, having been released in 2005. The other side of Lake Erie might be deathly cold right now, but wherever Schutt is playing, the icicles are melting.
If you find yourself in Austin this March, check out one of her sets at SXSW. If you cant make the trip, she’ll be making a few other stops this winter and spring around the States and Canada.