Traditional country music has been having a good 2019 so far, with releases from the likes of legends Reba McEntire and independent acts like Charlie Marie and Steel Blossoms. Austin’s Kathryn Legendre is another name to add to this list – she’s a singer with a honky tonk heart and songs good enough to make you joyously weep into your whiskey. This new EP Making It Up is only twenty minutes and five songs long but every single one is a knock out.
Opening song Going Crazy has an honesty and directness about it that makes it irresistible. You can’t help but sympathise with her story of losing the plot and searching for that someone to stop her from cracking up for good. The band make the madness sound pretty enjoyable, even if the words suggest her precarious mental state is something altogether more serious.
By the next song, Sit Here and Cry, she’s crashed out entirely. She’s desperate, lonely and wallowing in her misery. After going through hell maybe it’s the only thing you can do. That and write a heartbreak ballad in the hope of finding some solace, like the best songwriters have done before you.
Next song Letters From Prison is a little light relief in comparison – a fun and funny story about a girl who enjoys writing to inmates, because hey even the bad boys need some loving too. Country music was built on humour just as much as suffering and so that juxtaposition works well on this EP.
I really love the feel of There You Go and her voice sounds perfect. Loneliness, separation and the power of memories are always rich themes and they serve her well on this one.
Final song Making It Up takes a while to fade in, as though she’s thinking about how to begin. The song offers quiet contemplation on the insecurities we all face in life – like how to move forward when you really don’t have a clue what you’re actually doing. Life might not be what she planned but by the end of the song she accepts her fate and trusts that she’ll get somewhere, somehow, someday.
So yes the world might be a fucking mess and maybe we’re all going quickly insane, but thanks to the likes of Kathryn Legendre going off the deep end will at least have a damn fine soundtrack.