After a long wait, Kat Hamilton, who has released several singles this past year, is out with her Debut LP titled Recovery Songs. It was definitely worth the wait.Penned in chronological order, the 9 track album is an authentic share on the struggles of addiction and overcoming trauma. Rock the Pigeon dives deep into the music and songwriting of Kat Hamilton on this review, following her writing in chronological order, reviewing the record the way it was intended to be listened to.
“The music was inspired by being knocked down and getting back up. Going to the darkest places in yourself and in life and managing to make it through. I went through hell and found a way to be okay, but I like to think that this work can resonate with people who aren’t in the recovery process. Anyone who’s ever struggled could relate to this music.”
– Kat Hamilton
The record starts off strongly with Medicine Line. Medicine Line was released in early 2020 and gave us an early taste of her album that was released today. The opening line gave me the chills immediately. Hunter, a Rock the Pigeon staff writer says: “Hamilton beautifully details her journey through recovery in this emotional new single Medicine Line. This song has an acoustic rhythm that flows smoothly followed by Hamilton’s heartfelt and strong vocals. The lyrics are meaningful and thought-provoking, reminding listeners we don’t always know what other people may be going through. The picture “Medicine Line” paints is detailed and uplifting. Hamilton puts raw and personal feelings into this song with her insightful lyrics. “Medicine Line” is creative and unmistakably powerful.”
The song Ohio follows Medicine Line, which cuts through with a more pop-rock sound, sometimes drifting in the alt-country realm. She sings about making coffee, a common crutch for many people in sobriety, and…not being welcome in the state of Ohio any longer where an ex-lover must have lived. Perhaps her partying days took a toll on some friends that reside in the state of Ohio. We aren’t really sure, but the lyrics paint an exciting story. The lyrics are probably the most cutting edge that the singer-songwriter has brought to the table yet. The bridge of the song brings an amends to the state and her relationships.
Next up is Empty Room. A darker vibe comes through on this song, tinted with self-hatred and the emotional lows of early sobriety. With heavy drums and a moving melody, the sound is most comparable to early Paramore.
Slow Motion slows the record down momentarily. Hamilton’s voice floats over a jazzy guitar arpeggio. Her voice is the most soulful on this track compared to the starting 3 tracks. A marching snare drum picks up the pace of the song slightly. Clever harmonies bring a beautifully haunting feel to the song.
The pop-rock feel comes back on the next song, Hate Me. Track 5 is explosive with a hooky chorus that repeats the lyric “Why do I miss you when you hate me?” A bass carries the song, as a surfy-toned guitar strums adding to the mid-range.
Minor chords set the tone in on Afraid of Your Body. Lyrics dive into the longing of needing an escape. Kat Hamilton’s vocals bring emotion that makes this song feel the most relatable in terms of the human emotional experience.
Originally released as a single, Amnesia, fits in at track 7. A pop beat and electric guitar are the main instrumentation make up of this track. This is yet another beautifully haunting track from the rising singer-songwriter.
Little Gods brings a feeling of hope to the record. Hamilton’s vocal tone seems to carry more happiness and confidence on this track. Written in chronological order, it seems that the writing style drifts from the start of recovery into a better mental place.
Bringing the album to a close, is a powerhouse of a song, Plastic Folding Chairs. Lyrically the song talks about recovery meetings in a poetic and authentic way. It’s a nice ending song but it also flows perfectly back into track 1 if you want to put the record on a loop.
As a whole the record proves Kat Hamilton’s versatility in genres and abilities to use her voice in a fitting way for each genre shift. The record is also a testament of her strong songwriting talent. The tracks take the listener through a journey, providing a look-in to the process of healing from trauma and the early stages of sobriety.
Kat hopes to bring a sense of hope to listeners with this LP and I think she definitely will. Hamilton says these songs were her way of coping too.“I was really lost, I had just gotten out of a recovery center and these songs became my way of coping.”
Listen to the record now on Spotify:
Kat Hamilton is a Los Angeles based performer who has toured the United States. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Want to hear more LGBTQ artists? Check out this playlist:
Written by Ryan Cassata