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Kate Miller-Heidke – Nightflight

Catherine May


As I boarded my plane from Sydney to Melbourne, I thought it would be perfect time to give Kate Miller-Heidke’s new album Nightflight a listen. Alas, my journey wasn’t a long enough nightflight to hear every song, so I had to continue my listening session the following day. Not that it caused me any displeasure.

Amazingly it’s already been over three years since the release of Curiouser so it’s only natural that there’s been a change in Kate’s sound. The title track is hauntingly beautiful and particularly poignant when your sat alone on a plane in the dark on the opposite side of the world to your family – though that’s not to say it’s any less stunning to listen to when your sat at home. Talking of haunting things, Sarah sent shivers down my spine the first time I listened to it. Based on a true story, the lyrics carry the narrative of a girl going missing at a festival and Kate crafts the horrible tale into something that captures you from the first note to the last. Humiliation is a slow burner but it still turns into something you want to listen to over and over again.

There are a few dancier tracks on the album. Ride This Feeling, I’ll Change Your Mind and Beautiful Darling are all more upbeat numbers and offer contrast to the slower songs Kate’s fans have more recently become accustomed to.

The Tiger Inside Will Eat The Child has been doing the rounds at Kate’s live shows for a while but the recording on this album really shows the song at its best. Kate really is one of the few performers whose incredible live performances still translate very well onto a recording. In fact, Kate’s operatic background is put to show on The Tiger Inside Will Eat The Child as well as making appearances on a few other tracks.

As ever, Kate has carefully crafted this album to be a perfect balance of poignant lyrics, soothing vocals and operatic outbursts. Is there anything that could’ve been improved? Well, other than my ongoing desire for her to make a proper recording of Southern Cross Tattoo, it’s pretty much faultless.

This is one nightflight that certainly won’t leave you feeling groggy and jet-lagged.