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Kate Havnevik – You

Emily Bruce


Most people already acquainted with Norwegian singer-songwriter Kate Havnevik’s music will probably know about her due to the show Grey’s Anatomy. Well, that’s how I first heard her songs, anyway – several of them have featured in episodes, and most notably her beautiful song Grace, composed especially for the show (included on You as a bonus track) was featured in one of the series finales, catching many people’s attention. That was just after her first album, the impressive Meltankton, was released in 2006.

Havnevik’s follow-up record has been a long time coming, then. Not all of the tracks here are new, however – two of the record’s best songs, the catchy Halo and wonderful sing-along tune Show Me Love were released as singles in 2009, and the same year they along with three other of the tracks on You were featured on Kate’s 5-track EP Me.

Havnevik’s music would best be described as electronica, and an obvious comparison sound-wise is Imogen Heap – which is unsurprising given Guy Sigsworth (who was in Frou Frou with Heap as well as having worked with Madonna, Björk and Alanis Morissette amongst many others) produced You. Yet despite this similarity, Kate still retains something that makes her unique.

Lush melodies abound throughout You, helped by the fact Havnevik is the owner of a beautifully soothing voice. Opener Krakowska is brilliantly catchy – so much you feel like you’ve heard it somewhere before, despite this being one of the record’s brand new tracks. At the same time as being easily accessible, however, Kate’s music is dramatic and atmospheric also – Disobey, one of the darkest-sounding songs on the album, is an example of this, along with Think Again, one of the record’s most heartbreaking moments, yet one of its finest; indeed, even when she changes the tone, Havnevik’s music remains extremely captivating. Elsewhere, Mouth 2 Mouth and Castaway deserve mentions for being album highlights.

Overall then, this is a great sophomore effort from Havnevik, and hopefully it will help expand her fan base, as this talented lady deserves to be very popular indeed.