Album Review: Kaia Kater, Nine Pin

Kaia KaterNine Pin from Toronto, Canada


Label: Kingswood Records

With an exploration of Appalachian and African-Caribbean roots, Kaia Kater brings something precious to the table with her simplistic, deep, fully loaded vocals. The music she is composing is bountiful and transformative. She keeps the past present and isn’t afraid to explore her core with vast creativity as heard on “Fine Times at Our House” and “White”. These two songs especially grab my attention with her more traditional technique and accompaniment. She is able to convey very lucidly the spirit of being merry and maintain a dim flicker of sorrow. “Harvest and the Plough” has a ghostly reminiscence of New Orleans marching bands. She manages to fluidly express her Appalachian roots with relevant blues references.

Her music is timeless and lets me gently fade away to a place with sweet sensory induced banjo tunes. The album name Nine Pin originates from a square dance most frequently seen in West Virginia, where she has spent most of her time. With this symbolism portrayed in the album name, you can bet that symbolism will be a common theme song by song. Her adventures exploring old time music has proved to be collaboratively successful, integrating layers of antiphonal qualities with many instruments and incorporating reel and jig like songs.