Tyler’s Take: Katelyn Steinwand – Eyes to See
Calgary native Katelyn Steinwand has released her first full-length studio album, and upon hearing it, one wonders why she’s still unsigned.
Eyes to See is a beautiful collection of thoughtfully written chords and lyrics well beyond her 21 years on this earth. Her voice is elegant and breathy. Her lyrics are deep and personal. Each song is eerily intimate, and Steinwand often pushes and pulls the listener in with pleasantly hooky melodies.
It’s a warm record. At times it’s steeped in the “analog hiss” many folk artists migrate towards in order to achieve an earthy, organic feel.
The upbeat second track, Leaving, is reminiscent of early Tegan And Sara, while other tracks contain a more folk-inspired craftiness akin to the likes of Sufjan Stevens.
Somewhere between recording this album and now, Steinwand incorporated a banjo into her solo live performances. And although her record is lacking little, the mighty plunk of her banjo is estranged from the album. It’s a shame, since her four-stringed banjo has become a live-show trademark for the singer-songwriter. One can only imagine what Steinwand’s sophomore album will sound like.
The album finishes up nicely with a political tirade titled, We Cry (A Protest Song) about gun-toting war children. Grotesquely mature, the song forces Steinwand’s listeners to give vast consideration to a world we’ll never know on this side of the hemisphere. The picture she paints is vivid to say the least, almost surreal.
–by Tyler Ostermayer