Katie Costello’s EP, The City in Me, is a perfect sample of her upcoming full-length album. Just under 20 minutes, the EP shows her emerging timeless and angelic voice. Each song presents a melancholy beauty that is perfectly accompanied by Costello’s thought-provoking lyrics. Costello’s talent is similar to the sweet, vintage melodies of Laura Jansen, Rosi Golan, or Holly Conlan.
“How Do We Know” shows Costello’s vocal range and passion, exhibiting a wisdom that belies her mere 19 years. She muses: “And I don’t know, that I’ve been the boss of myself/ I might as well get out of town and hire someone else.” The vocal “oohs” and “ahhs” in the background harmonize perfectly with Costello’s sound. The last verse’s key change makes the song the most memorable on the EP.
“Lost & Far from Home” seems to describe a little girl lost on the way to womanhood. It’s as if Costello is narrating a fairy tale based on the process of growing up. Costello’s old soul is carried on through every little chord struck on the xylophone. “Cityscapes” has a dramatic beginning that shows how Costello finds solace in escaping to a city. She is entranced by the beauty of her thoughts: “You make me better than I could be/I’m bursting at my seams.”
“Ships in the Night” reveal Costello’s lovelorn heart and the pains of saying goodbye to someone. Costello carries the same beauty in her voice that Rosi Golan does in songs like “Come Around.” Costello mourns a loss of a relationship by saying goodbye in her own way: “And I can’t be what I need/ And I can’t treat you right/When nothing lasts forever/This my friend won’t pass in the night/And this my friend is still goodbye.”
“We Are, The Way We Are” proves to be the most upbeat track of Costello’s EP, though it still strikes a melancholic tone. Despite that, her voice just makes you fall in love. She finds the basis to her EP’s theme throughout all of her tracks on the EP however, this track seems to define her connection with “a city”: “Who am I to be/Anything other than the city in me.”
Costello’s EP is just a preview to what will come in 2011 when she releases her full-length album, Lamplight. If this is just a small sample of what will be on her album, she probably has a classic on her hands. It comes pretty damn close to perfection.