# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Kate Rogers - St Eustacia

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 15 / 8 / 2004

Kate Rogers - St Eustacia
Label: Grand Central
Format: CD


Eerily beautiful and long-awaited debut solo album from the ethereal-voiced Kate Rogers, the former frontwoman with Aim

It was the ethereal voice of Kate Rogers that made 'Cold Water Music', the 1999 debut album from Aim, such a memorable proposition. It was a remarkable body of music, lent an eerie introduction courtesy of Ms Rogers’s vocals on the stand-out track 'Sail'. Here we get to hear her on her own and, apparently, in her element. St. Eustacia is a composed, thoughtful and accomplished album, which takes time to grow on the listener – but it’s worth putting in the effort. It begins, on first hearing, fairly harmlessly with 'Welcome', a PJ Harvey-like soundtrack of strings and drums, over which Rogers sings. But the swirling undercurrents take time to appear, and when they do, it’s not quite a surprise that the welcome turns out to be a barbed retort. The theme continues with 'Not Ten Years Ago', a lament to wasted chances. It’s difficult to shake off the haunted loneliness of Aim and of her own music, so much so that 'Mighty', a love song, sounds like another hopeless lament until you pay close attention to the words – a love-blind tribute to a memory. Her closest reference point would be PJ Harvey, but for sheer bloody-minded melancholia she could give Nick Cave a close game. Like Cave, she invites us to wallow in her life gone wrong, although 'St. Eustacia' couldn’t be said to be a particularly morbid album. It’s a neat trick to pull off, to make such minor-key music and leave the listener not deflated but somehow fulfilled. “Someone covered the sun, and left us alone in the dark,” she sings on 'Nothing Appeals To Me Here', adding: “So let’s go find something better, ‘cause nothing appeals to me here.” It’s a message that resonates throughout the album – that redemption is possible after tragedy or hardship, but you’re going to have to work at it. 'Sidelines' takes things in a different direction, with its swing/r’n’b rhythm – although it’s slightly jarring at first it goes on to fit with what’s gone before. 'Sum It Up' is also notably uptempo, with an admonition to say what you have to say: “Trying to relate, but no-one’s listening... Give it up, spit it out and confess.” The final, title track is a return to the melancholia of the opening songs – a cycle, of sorts, with the singer realising that despite the valleys and the mires, there is something to be had after all. “When I know that I’ve done all I can do, then this fear of regret will subside. When I’m through all that I put my mind to, I’ve arrived.” It’s the most uplifting song on the album. 'St Eustacia' is a beautiful, emotional trip, one well worth taking. Kate Rogers has arrived.

Track Listing:-
1 Welcome
2 Not Ten Years Ago
3 Mighty
4 The Apology
5 Odyssey
6 Nothing Appeals To Me Here
7 Sidelines
8 Joan
9 Sum It Up
10 This Collective
11 St. Eustacia

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