Kate Walsh is one of those names I always seem to see everywhere, but has never quite made it to the dizzy heights of ‘somewhere’. She’s got a solid musical résumé; she’s the only unsigned artist ever to have had a number one album on the iTunes chart. However this achievement hasn’t done too much to raise her profile to a wider audience – perhaps that’s not even what she wants to do. Walsh maintains that she’s not in it for the money or fame, with her latest album, Peppermint Radio, being compiled of her own interpretations of songs from the 80s and 90s. Taking these songs from her childhood, Walsh chose the album name because, as a child, she pretended her sewing machine was a mixing deck and that she was working on a radio station named Peppermint Radio.
The first single to be taken from the album, Erasure’s A Little Respect, has a sombre feel to it. Walsh’s vocals remain strong throughout the album with Unbelievable being sung in a completely new way from EMF’s original. Gone is the fast tempo, club vibe and drum beats, replaced with piano playing, softer vocals and a slower pace. Personally, I love Walsh’s more serious take on the song. In fact, throughout the album Walsh’s vocals shine with her solemn interpretations that make for easy listening.
There is a great variety in the tracks that Kate recreates on the album, ranging from Duran Duran’s Save a Prayer to Blur’s Beetlebum. It’s not a collection of songs that immediately wows you, but each track can really be appreciated for the ideas behind Walsh’s interpretation. Her vocals can’t be faulted and her choice of songs can be enjoyed by all – even those who, like me, weren’t alive when the originals were released!