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Costello stands out on latest ‘Lamplight’

By Staff | Oct 26, 2011

Katie Costello has one of those voices that seems familiar, yet once you hear her sing, you become addicted.

Honestly, when I first heard “Cassette Tape” from the singer’s latest album “Lamplight,” I could have sworn I had heard it in a commercial. But a quick Google search turned up nothing of the sort.

Still, the waifish quality of Costello’s voice and piano-driven melodies does evoke thoughts of Fiona Apple, Gin Wigmore, Regina Spektor or Sara Bareilles.

But the one thing that sets Costello apart from these other ladies is what might ultimately help her carve out her own unique niche among the throngs of similar sounding female pop stars: she sings without pretense. You don’t need a special hipster/emo dictionary to decipher what Costello is singing about – you just need to have experienced love, loss, joy, sorrow or any other human emotion.

There is also a nostalgic feel to many of the tunes from the very Beatle-esque “Despite Times” to “Cassette Tape’s” ragtimey feel that makes the listener really want to delve deeper beyond the lyrics to the gorgeous instrumentation and production of Tony Berg (Aimee Mann).

You will find a favorite song on “Lamplight” and you will want to listen to it again and again. Guaranteed.

And if Costello is already this good at the tender age of 20, there is no telling where she will go. So dig in and hold on for the ride.

– LISTEN TO THIS: “Stranger”

– GO SEE THIS: Costello will appear on Mountain Stage at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston on Nov. 6. Tickets are available through www.mountainstage.org.