Something For Kate make a spirited return with their first album in eight years, ‘The Modern Medieval’
20.11.2020

Something For Kate make a spirited return with their first album in eight years, ‘The Modern Medieval’

Image by Daniel Boud
Words by Mary Gleeko

The Modern Medieval is a product of skilled and measured abandon.

Something For Kate fans have waited eight years for The Modern Medieval, the band’s highly-anticipated seventh studio album. Momentum has been building since Paul Dempsey’s teaser shows at The Gasometer Hotel last year where he trialled new material in front of eager audiences. It was very clear then that the forthcoming Something For Kate album was going to be the product of skilled and measured abandon; it was going to be novel, exciting and surprising.

The album has been touted as the most eclectic collection of songs for the band to date. With the help of Mia Wray’s Nashville-esque backing vocals, ‘Bluebird’ treads an almost country line while opening track ‘All The Great Minds’ is a lush synth-heavy adventure.

Aptly chosen singles ‘Situation Room’, ‘Waste Our Breath’, and ‘Supercomputer’ highlight the unwavering consistency and reliability that is awakened when Dempsey and his bandmates Stephanie Ashworth and Clint Hyndman come together to create music. ‘Situation Room’ gushes with emotion, soaring as Dempsey sings the simple “I got nothing when it comes to you”, while ‘Supercomputer’ hauntingly builds at an almost imperceptible pace.

‘Our Extinguished Colleague’ buzzes with a frenetic urgency and ‘Inside Job’, featuring Bernard Fanning, plays out like it belongs on the soundtrack of a North By Northwest remake. ‘I Will Defeat You’ glides along with an effortless flair and closes the album with an extended fuzzy guitar outro.

As always, Dempsey’s lyrics oscillate between a kind of poetic intricacy and astute brevity. His versatile wordplay combining sincerity with wry observations.

His trademark vocal range continues to impress but most striking is how much feeling his voice projects.

The Modern Medieval is an album of ten polished and slick tracks that dance with spirit and ferocious intensity. It’s the product of three friends that have strived together and creatively energised each other for decades. It’s ripe for big venues and sweaty audiences. It’s Something For Kate – what else would it be?

9

The Modern Medieval is out now via EMI.

Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.