PROPS AND PRESS
PROPS FROM PEERS
“Your voice somehow always takes me to a special place… unique and cozy.”Spookey Ruben
“You have the goods for being front and centre, Kathryn.”Bob Wiseman
“One of my favourite singers in Canada.”Sarah Slean
“Canada’s original bombshell.”Emm Gryner
“I listened to your recording and was so impressed. I had no idea your writing was so interesting. Thank you for the gift of enjoyment.”Jane Siberry
“Painfully beautiful! Moved by what I heard.”Alannah Myles (discovering KR’s song I Married Myself on YouTube)
KR LIVE REVIEWS
RE: TORONTO ACTRA AWARDS, W/SPECIAL MUSIC GUEST KATHRYN ROSE (2008)
“Despite another snow squall that darkened the city, over 800 people attended the 2008 ACTRA Awards in Toronto at the fabulous downtown Carlu. Singer songwriter Kathryn Rose was the evening’s musical entertainment. You could sense the audience holding its breath during the final notes of her original song ‘One Person’, and sit upright in their chairs during the horns in ‘Yellowknife’. That girl can sear your heart with a single note.” Karen Ivany, ACTRA Toronto Performers Magazine
RE: KR WITH SPRINGFIELD (MA) SYMPHONY (2015)
“Backing vocalists Kathryn Rose and Stephanie Martin harmonized deftly, and gave Chicago’s Peter Cetera a run for his money with a tight, sweet duet arrangement of the 1976 hit from Chicago X, ‘If You Leave Me Now.’”
masslive.com Concert review: Springfield Symphony Orchestra Pops Finale Revisits ’70s
Re: LIVE REVIEW, KR AT NXNE (2002)
“Toronto singer Kathryn Rose put on an awesome midnight set. She sauntered about like she owned the place, and for her 45-minute set, she did. Rose dazzled the audience with her astounding vocal power and cleverly written songs. A compelling and theatrical performer, Kathryn Rose possesses a luxurious voice and writes darkly cinematic songs.”
Rachel E. Beattie, Imprint Online, The Highlights of NXNE
Re: LIVE REVIEW, PETERBOROUGH FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS (2003)
Festival Of Lights Offers Many Surprises
Special guest, the lovely Kathryn Rose lent her wonderfully strong voice to Ron Marenger And His Big Band on various tunes to a crowd of 8000 + at Del Crary Park last night. She offered up a delicate and sexy rendition of the timeless tune ‘Chances Are’, and ‘Paper Moon’ showed Rose fronting a band that was truly hopping with energy and great sounds. She closed with a Big Band version of her own song, the charming ‘I Married Myself’, even throwing the proverbial bouquet at song’s end to a lucky person in the audience.”
REVIEWS FOR WORK WITH OTHER ARTISTS
RE: LIVE REVIEW, SARAH MCLACHLAN AT THE MOLSON AMPITHEATRE (2004)
“It was the delicious vocals, however, that really riled the crowd up. For ‘Answer’ the trio of drummer-husband Ashwin Sood, background vocalist Kathryn Rose and guitarist Luke Doucet drew some rich, gospel-like harmonies while McLachlan sung and played her Yamaha grand. The torch-blues wails of ‘Witness’ sent everyone up on their feet and the operatic ‘Fear’ was spectacular.” Brian Wong, ChartAttack.com
RE: ALBUM REVIEW, THE FLOATING WORLD, BY KYP HARNESS (2002)
(NNNN) “The bard of the old-school downtown hipster set, Kyp Harness pulls off the seemingly impossible feat of releasing two discs comprising nearly 30 tracks with not a single dud in the bunch. There’s something inherently Torontonian about The Floating World, which marries The Dinner Is Ruined-backed great swaggering raw punk-bluesy bar rock with hushed, wavering folkie ballads, accented by jingle queen Kathryn Rose’s lovely backing vocals on several tracks. Dead on.” Sarah Liss, NOW Magazine
KR ALBUM REVIEWS
SOMETHING I CAN USE (2010)
“Kathryn Rose has switched back and forth from backing other singers to taking the spotlight as a performing artist in her own right. The selection of gorgeous hook-filled songs on “Something I Can Use” makes a case for Kathryn going the solo star route full time.”
Mark Rheaume, live album review on CBC Radio One, Fresh Air
“The music on this disc is heavy duty and built to last. Fearless lyrics and thinking. Thoroughly check out the track called ‘Infinite Life Of Days’. As Kathryn Rose says, ‘we are infinite’… and anything can happen. I caught her act last night, and it is prodigious.”
Paul Corby, live album review on CKLN FM Radio, Corby’s Orbit
“I totally love your version of Watching the Detectives! A classic song that has been begging for reinvention. Your voice is beautiful and calming, I love it! Seriously I think it’s fabulous, and trust me, I don’t say that to very many people! Keep on singing and the world will fall in love with you. All the best with this new release!”
Aaron Zon, Vice President, MMS Music Manufacturing Services
“Really liked your cover of ‘Watching the Detectives’. It’s hard to do a song that already is so firmly placed in peoples’ minds but you managed to keep the creepiness and make it your own. Great stuff.”
Filmmaker Scott Dobson
KATHRYN ROSE (2005)
“Local siren and expert pop chanteuse Kathryn Rose is one of the go-to singers for big-league TV commercials and session work. Matching her fine physical voice with a newly intimate writer’s voice, Rose has gone confessional on her third solo album. She digs deep, charting her journey from a broken-hearted breakup, through two years of subsequent inertia, finally finding her way back to an unprecedented, lifelong commitment. Crafted with rich instrumentation, arrangement and production by Thomas Ryder Payne, [as heard in] the excellent “Beholden”, and superb “Low Flying Bird”, the dark stuff is spooky, the hopeful stuff inspiring and that voice is always worth hearing. 3/1/2 stars out of 4.”
Howard Druckman, Eye Weekly
“The third album by the ridiculously talented Ms. Rose is by far her best. And that’s saying a lot, since the first two discs were superb. It’s all my KR-fixes in one: the soft, the tough, the light, the dark. She’s reached new heights and depths in her writing, and of course that VOICE… all that and stellar production by Thomas Ryder Payne make this as near perfect a recording as I could want.”
Recording artist Rob Greenway, brilliantfish.com
“The production is beautiful with lots of space, depth, a nice blend of acoustic guitar and electro elements. Your voice sits in the perfect spot on each song. Your images and phrases are interesting and you string them together poetically. My favorite words/image: ‘boredom is an oncoming car’. Of course your singing is perfect but that is what I expected, however, you bring a level of intimacy and a genuine personality to the performances and I got the sense that were telling ME something special about you.”
Songwriter Arlene Bishop
“I LOVE ‘Yellowknife”. By the way, the press release is fantastic. It hooked me and made me put the album at the top of the pile.”
CBC Radio host Amanda Putz
NOW MAGAZINE COVER FEATURE FOR MY LITTLE FLAME (2002)
Sultry jingle singer turns up torch heat
Molly Johnson and Lisa Dalbello do it. So does Mary Margaret O’Hara if there’s nobody watching. And young jazzer Emilie-Claire Barlow’s been at it since she was six. Although they may be reluctant to talk about it, many of Toronto’s top vocalists have for years been moonlighting as advertising jingle singers.
Few people who’ve seen Kathryn Rose performing with Esthero or King Cobb Steelie are likely aware that the in-demand backing vocalist — who formerly fronted Wind May Do Damage — also happens to be one of the city’s most sought-after jingle specialists. When there’s a jingle emergency, chances are it’s Rose’s special jingle pager that gets buzzed.
It’s her sultry voice you hear cooing I’ve Got You Under My Skin in the milk commercials, reminding you that “you’ve always got time for Tim Hortons” and helping the cheese melt on Triscuit crackers with her seductive scatting.
Rose’s first “ooohs” for the Triscuit ad were so hot, in fact, that the client gave the track an “X” rating and asked for a less steamy version. It’s all in a day’s work for the classically trained Rose, who gave up a promising acting career to sing for her supper.
Her lucrative sideline has not only supported her more artistic endeavours as a solo song stylist (she’s just released the intoxicating My Little Flame album on her own Footlodgedindoor Music label) but it’s also helped to stretch her vocal cords in unusual ways and allowed her to indulge her role-playing fantasies. If there’s a credibility threat, Rose doesn’t seem terribly concerned about it.
“Believe it or not,” giggles Rose mischievously from her east-side home, “singing jingles is something I always wanted to try. I’d heard it was a difficult business to break into. You need to work very quickly, under pressure, and be able to manipulate your voice on cue. I wanted to see if I was up for the challenge.”
On a session for country artist Julian Austin she met Danny LeBlanc, who had his own production company (Mad Music Inc.) and worked for a larger company, Pirate Radio and Television, that did advertising spots.
“When I finally got to sing a jingle, I found I really liked it and immediately wanted to do more. I kept taking more jobs and I’ve been doing it ever since. The money’s great, and it really is a lot of fun. How can singing be bad?”
Spitting a 15-second snippet of a jazz standard or dropping a tag line from a Macy Gray song doesn’t sound terribly taxing, but like acting in porno films, the job does require a certain facility that only a select few have. That’s why the majority of jingles are voiced by a handful of busy professionals.
According to jingle top gun LeBlanc, who co-wrote the I Am Canadian bit and does the underscoring for Hockey Night In Canada, singing spots goes well beyond, er getting it up on command, so to speak. And when the money’s on the line, Rose has proven she has those special skills that pay the bills.
“It’s not as easy a job as many singers think,” explains LeBlanc, “You have to do a lot of different things well and very fast, and Kathryn’s brilliant at it. Besides having a tonal quality that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, she’s smart, imaginative and stylistically very versatile.
“Most singers have a certain sound that they get called for again and again, but Kathryn’s not a one-trick pony. We just did this cool pop record together under the name Blume that we’re shopping in the U.S. right now. It doesn’t sound anything like her new My Little Flame record. It’s just another of Kathryn’s many sides.”
That chameleon-like knack for shifting styles that has served Rose so well in the jingle business isn’t such an asset for a rising artist still trying to establish her own identity.
There’s always a danger that a jingle singer adept at mimicking the traits of popular singers to suit advertising clients’ needs can lose her own identity in the process. Rose knows it.
“I’m able to make the distinction between my own voice and my voice for hire, even though I sometimes use my own voice to sing jingles. I’m at a point where I’m comfortable singing my own songs or whatever I’m asked.”
Rose was also confident enough in herself as an artist to release the elegantly arranged and beautifully realized My Little Flame album on her own terms. She didn’t wait around for a major-label endorsement of her considerable talent.
“The first couple of years I was in bands, it was like waiting for permission to be an artist, like someone from a label would magically appear and say, “OK, Kathryn, you’re ready now — here’s your record deal.’ Then time passes, nothing happens and you wonder, “What am I waiting for? Why not just do it myself?’ That’s what I did.
“Right now I’m struggling to reconcile my need to make a personal statement with that whole clamouring-for-attention thing.”
It’s more than a bit strange to hear someone with such a flair for the dramatic talk about being reluctant to make a spectacle of herself. This is the same woman who tosses a bouquet of flowers into the crowd after singing I Married Myself and likes brandishing a blowtorch.
“Well, I guess there’s still a little bug inside me that wants to put on a show. But I tend to forget about that; I need to force myself to get onstage. Once I’m out there, I know it’s going to be a good time. Although I quit acting a long time ago, I still love to play dress-up.”
MY LITTLE FLAME REVIEWS (2001)
“The flame of Rose’s talent burns big and bright. She has the voice and looks of a rock diva, but has chosen a more adventurous and intimate path in her lyrics and music. That’s shown in a haunting tune like “Dear The Mother Of A Dead Son,” while the far lighter “I Married Myself” just might become an anthem for independent women. Kathryn has a mesmerising and sensual stage presence, delivering her material in theatrical but convincing fashion. Rose is clearly an artist to watch.”
Kerry Doole, Tandem Magazine
“If you have albums by King Cobb Steelie, Jr. Gone Wild, Tory Cassis or Change Of Heart in your collection, or if you’ve seen Ron Sexsmith, Bruce Guthro, Esthero, or Moxy Fruvous in concert, you’ve probably heard the voice of Kathryn Rose. She’s worked with a variety of Canadian acts since the early ’90s, when she also fronted Toronto band Wind May Do Damage. Her second solo recording My Little Flame is a bit of a concept record, a collection of bittersweet pop songs about love gone right, love gone wrong, and well, sometimes, love just plain gone. This album sounds a bit retro, but I like that. It reminds me of a time when eccentric vocalists like Jane Siberry and Meryn Cadell could actually have hit singles, before alternative music made earnest, arty expression kind of uncool, before every new female singer songwriter had to sound like Sarah McLachlan or Courtney Love. Kathryn Rose is unabashedly dramatic, but her warm and husky voice is as easy to appreciate as any mainstream pop star. Sometimes she’s a rocker, sometimes a diva, sometimes she kind of sounds like Jann Arden, but over all Rose still has her own style. She’s also a good songwriter, with a healthy sense of humour. In the middle of her melancholy breakup songs, she’s put a pretty droll country tune, with ‘I Married Myself”. My Little Flame was produced by Thomas Ryder Payne of Joydrop, and he gives it a full, rich sound. It’s a solid release, and should help Kathryn step out from behind her friends and into her own spotlight.”
Liisa Ladouceur, album review on CBC Radio’s Definitely Not The Opera
“Despite the dark content of death and grief that seems to permeate, there tends to be many uplifting moments scattered among this ambient trip-hop down memory’s lane. Relying on a more electronica feel than on previous efforts, the drum’n’bass loops and brief blips add a striking urgency to several of the songs, noticeably ‘Life’s Luxurious.’ Tension-filled in a way slightly resembling an easy listening Nine Inch Nails. More reflective and lyrically stronger, the album flows from top to bottom without much in the way of extras or inane surprises. ‘I Married Myself’ is a perfect example of Rose using a bare-bones approach in vocal, harmony, and piano for a waltz-like ballad. Also, there’s the haunting, almost eerie ‘Dear the Mother of a Dead Son,’ which sums up the beautiful and dark theme throughout. Ron Sexsmith also accompanies Rose on the closing ‘Virginia.’
Jason Macneil, All-Music Guide
“You can hear traces of Siberry and McLachlan on this Toronto singer’s second album, but there’s an effecting hybrid of bravado and vulnerability here that doesn’t sound quite like anyone else you’d care to name.”
John Sakamoto, Toronto Sun
“Canadian singer Kathryn Rose creates a lush, dramatic sound on her second CD. Her smooth but strong voice reminds me a little of kd lang and she’s equally adept at singing torch songs. There’s plenty of great songs here like the bitterly amusing ‘I Married Myself’ and the ghostly ‘Dear the Mother of a Dead Son’. This album sometimes strays into Portishead territory and is lovely when it does. Mostly it just inhabits its own bizarrely gorgeous torch world. Kathryn Rose is a singer to be cherished. Don’t let her pass you by.”
Collected Sounds – Sounds of Women in Music (Uppsala, Sweden)
“Along with producer Thomas Ryder Payne (of the band Joydrop), Canadian songbird Kathryn Rose has created a stunningly beautiful record.. She’s worked with everyone from Esthero (with whom she’s toured as a band member), to Patti LaBelle, to Dan Bryk, to Ron Sexsmith. At times soothing, at others startling, this is a record you should get.”
New Jersey DJ/Promoter Jeff Raspe, altrock.com
“A rather self effacing moniker for an impressive collection of sonic delights that might be better served with the title ‘My Big Ass Blow Torch’. A regular Toronto club performer, her second CD does the local indie scene proud by being able to stand up to any recent mainstream release from the major label Canadian branch plants. It’s actually hard to imagine shackled A&R folks giving a green light to this kind of uncompromising pop record. The tracks don’t attempt to fit a radio format, therefore avoiding the creative death trap of the Canadian ‘big leagues’, where originality is considered a commercial curse.”
Visual artist, composer, guitarist Kurt Swinghammer, swinghammer.com
“Actually, this is a rather LARGE flame. Kathryn is an artist of rare quality. A stellar voice which can at one moment soothe, the next breathe sex, and then blow your barn down – and she is a first-rate writer. What more do you want? Her grossly underrated debut Every Lurid Detail is a perfect pop gem, and should have made her a household name. My Little Flame is beautiful, mature, dark and succulent. A big hats-off to producer Thomas Ryder Payne (Joydrop) for nudging the songs into alt territory without losing the beauty of the melodies and lyrics. Nice job. This is another album that rewards and grows with every listen. Kathryn gets better with each shiny disc. She is, and always will be, a (world) class act.”
Recording artist Rob Greenway, brilliantfish.com
EVERY LURID DETAIL (1997)
“Although it may resemble a solo album and could be judged as such since there is only one vocalist, Kathryn Rose has assembled a large group to add specific hues and textures to each song. As with the cover art, the guts of the album are readily visible, particularly the blues of “Too Easy” and “Mint,” both of which have a Portishead quality to them. The groove on “On a Night Like This” is very soothing to the ears, with Rose doing just enough to keep the balance between vocals and music ideal. In a long line of credible Canadian female singers, this should be a building block in a very promising career.” AMG Rating: 3 stars, Genre: Rock
Jason MacNeil, All-Music Guide, allmusic.com
“From Esthero’s live band, vocalist Kathryn Rose’s new solo album, Every Lurid Detail (produced by vet David Kershaw on the indie Footlodgedindoor Music), is a diva’s delight, with Rose purring and soaring through a dozen powerful tunes. Rose possesses a soft quiver in her voice that virtually explodes at any given moment, much like Joan Osborne or Billie Myers’ dynamic range. The lead-off ‘When You Come Along’ is a slow melter that should have a few American major labels sniffing about.
Chip Edwards, Focus Magazine, Tampa Bay FL
“Sultry and trance inducing, weaving songs that resonate in the mind long after the set is over.”
“Dynamic vocals that beg to be heard and lyric writing of an uncommon breadth and depth… To be taken seriously.”
“Rundown on the artist: A beautiful voice only took Kathryn Rose so far with her previous jazz-latin-pop band Wind May Do Damage. Extending her horizons to higher decibels on her new solo album [in the songs] ‘When You Come Along’ and ‘On A Night Like This’ but at the same time showing her sultry, ambient leanings: ‘Too Easy’, ‘Mint’, Rose also fits in a funk song: ‘Failed Seduction’, and an alternative, female-angst piece that modern rock radio would drool at: ‘They Sex Us Up’. Themes are personal, reflective and intelligent: ‘…Do I spin illusions/After everything I’ve seen/It’s a bloody miracle/That when I sleep I dream…’ File between Jewel, Joan Osbourne, Cassandra Wilson.”
Next Flash Magazine Tip Sheet, Los Angeles
“Suggestions of alluring whispers, forbidden flesh and carnal yearning spill vividly across the canvas of Kathryn Rose’s moody Every Lurid Detail. Her rich sensual imagery caresses the libido much the way a breath of exotic perfume commands attention in a darkened room. Her tales may not all resolve to happy endings, but they always stimulate the senses. Some of these tracks aren’t far from their R&B influences but the album’s impact will be strongest with the adult pop audience. Rose, her songwriting collaborators and her studio session mates understand that music is a multi-dimensional art capable of touching different parts of the body, heart and soul simultaneously during moments when lyrics and music chemically react. The depth of skill makes many of the year’s biggest pop hits seem shallow by comparison. Her awareness of sexuality as a subtle but powerful component of melancholy music is at times startling.”
“After garnering much acclaim at the helm of Wind May Do Damage, and having collaborated with virtually every cool person on the Canadian music scene, Kathryn Rose has released her first solo disc. And it is a dandy. Rose shows off her versatility, veering from soothing soul (‘My Smoky Shirt’), to breathy pop (‘On A Night Like This’). But her best work is in the dark and brooding numbers that allow her to make the most of her gorgeous, smoky voice – ‘Mint’ and ‘I Don’t Need More’ are simply mesmerising. The album is produced and partly co-written by Sarah McLachlan alumnus David Kershaw, explaining in part its sonic richness and atmospheric textures.”
“The first solo album by former Wind May Do Damage singer features some very terse relationship-meltdown lyrics and excellent vocal performances. Most effective are the nifty soul-pop collaboration with Katherine Wheatley, ‘On A Night Like This’ and the sample-heavy ‘Family Reunion’.”
“Toronto’s Kathryn Rose has earned a reputation, via her former group, Wind May Do Damage, as a stunning, affecting vocalist who’s most commonly described as sultry and sensual. On her solo debut album, Every Lurid Detail, she not only showcases her amazing vocal talent but also her penchant for fine songwriting. This is an album that crackles with pent-up sexual energy, vented in a format that ranges from the jazz-inspired balladry she’s famous for (‘Mint’) to the dance-pop rhythms of first single ‘On A Night Like This.’”
“Another memorable debut comes from Kathryn Rose, formerly of Wind May Do Damage. Recorded in Vancouver with producer David Kershaw, Every Lurid Detail showcases Rose’s intense, uncoiled songs. The material is rich with, you guessed it, lots of sensory detail…”
SOCAN Words & Music
“Former vocalist with Wind May Do Damage, Kathryn Rose’s debut solo album showcases her phenomenal vocal talents and her torch-singer dramatics. While her melodies show influences that range from pop to jazz, she also has the ability to lock into a sensual groove and become part of the rhythm section as very few vocalists do. The excellent diverse production by David Kershaw (Wild Strawberries and Sarah McLachlan) on this album takes the tunes from dark and ambient, to crass and in-your-face and then all the way to ’80s hyper-pop. You can hear hints of Sade, PJ Harvey, Tori Amos and Mazzy Star. Standout songs on this 12 song, hour-long disc are the cool groove of ‘My Smoky Shirt’, the spacious, ambient production on ‘Family Reunion’ and ‘Too Easy’, and the dramatic raw energy of ‘They Sex Us Up.’”
The Varsity Review (U of T)
Kathryn Rose is a Toronto native who has accumulated an impressive list of accolades on the strength of a remarkable voice. The vocalist of choice for many artists in that area and most substantially Wind May Do Damage, Rose recently broke free to pilot her own solo effort of original material. That the project attracted Ashwin Sood, Luke Doucet and Brian Minato (Sarah McLachlan), Paul Brennan (Big Sugar), Rick May (Mae Moore, Rickie Lee Jones) and Sean Ashby (Wild Strawberries), is a telling indicator to the kind of sounds Rose achieved over the lonely Christmas she spent brainstorming in the studio. The resulting music is not for those looking for charm or cuteness, something which should be abundantly clear from the album cover. But though Every Lurid Detail is not as threatening as that crazy photograph, it is impartial to sending out comforting and discomforting vibes in the same breath. Her voice heavy with full-bodied tragedy, Rose steers through CHR darlings on When You Come Along, Failed Seduction and My Smoky Shirt, while You Are The Only One and Mint soothe and seduce and Too Easy and Dark Ride chill the bones. Grand in scope, stylish in the delivery, gutsy in substance, Every Lurid Detail is an A&R rep’s dream come true. To be kept under close watch.”
“Contrary to what the cover may lead a person to think, this is not a hard rock album. The sensitivity of the arrangements and Kathryn’s flutelike vocals make for a much subtler listening experience. In her lyrics she brutally exposes aspects of her personal life that most people would balk at sharing with a close friend. In “Failed Seduction,” she humorously mulls over the ruins of a romantic evening gone horribly wrong. Some of the songs have a sort of smooth bluesy overtone, conjuring images of smoky underground jazz clubs. Kathryn’s vocals blend with the instrumentation, and the poetry and melodies all contribute to the aesthetic. It’s the lyrics which really stand out as exceptional. Kathryn manages to be cool while doing everything in her power to prevent it.”