Philippa is very talented and thoughtful singer and musician who performs in an open and honest way, unburdened by external pressure and it shows. There’s a sense of deliberation that follows through onto the tracks. Most recently, a name change from Katharine Philippa to Kitt Philippa gave the artist a greater sense of non-binary neutrality.
‘Humans’ sees the Northern Irish singer explore the complexities with that sensibility. The track features a slight change in direction with a more prominent pop-production than previous releases such as her 2013 EP ‘Broken To Be Rebuilt’. Yet, nothing has been sacrificed in terms of message and substance.
“Times are troubling,” says Philippa and while “…there’s an acknowledgement of that pain, somehow hope tries to rouse you.”
Katharine Philippa is one of my favourite Irish artists and one of the most talented I’ve seen play live.
She’s created an excellent mashup cover before this one takes four of Bieber’s songs from his new album Purpose, ‘What Do You Mean’ / ‘Love Yourself’ / ‘I’ll Show You’ / ‘Sorry’ and turns it into a beautifully-sung and arranged tribute to some great pop songs.
The Northern Irish musician Edward F Butler has teamed up with one of my favourites Katharine Philippa (she plays her Dublin alongside Hare Squead and Attention Bebe this Friday at Minimum Maximum) on a new track called ‘Futures Full’.
Philippa offers a counterpoint to Butler’s big vocal here (sounding a bit like McMorrow) and the duet aspect gives the song’s atmospheric piano-lead arrangement an extra edge.
Happenings and Nialler9 are teaming up once again for a series of Friday afterwork gigs under the Minimum Maximum banner happening at the outdoor amphitheatre at the Civic Offices at Wood Quay in the city over three Fridays in August and September. Each gig is €5 on the door and runs from 6:30pm to 9pm. The first one is next Friday!
These are non-alcoholic events – please do not bring alcohol onto the premises as it jeopardises the opportunity to put a gig on in public spaces in future. Thank you. With thanks to Dublin City Council.
But that’s not all that’s on, there are also names like Best Boy Grip, Slowplacelikehome, Ryan Vail, Rosie Carney, Team RKT, Silences, Katharine Philippa and two go bands – Go Swim and Go Wolf among others playing on 10 stages that night. You can register for daytime events at www.creativebelfast.info
Venue / time
Black Box Café
Slow Place Like Home
Electric Mainline / Smalltown America Music
The Thin Air / Nialler 9
White Male Actors
Further Education Colleges / Broken Melody Records
Katharine Philippa is one of the most interesting new artists to appear from Northern Ireland in the last few years. Witness her performance of ‘Broken to Be Rebuilt’ in St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast for example. Recordings were scant til now but her new EP, also titled the Broken to be Rebuilt EP should help her in the recognition department.
That Philippa impressed at a church organ is not surprising, her music is elegant, acoustically-resonant, atmospheric. Her voice is expressive, reaching and brandishes significant ardency. “The world has become dulled and I can’t feel anything,” she sings on ‘Hosanna’, the EP’s opening track, addressing God, presaging a rousing howl of voices crying out to be rescued.
There’s anguish. “You hit this heart like a drumbeat,” Philippa sings on ‘Nightingale’, as piano chords rumble against percussive hits. ‘Pawns’ also rumbles, with abrasive industrial noise and piano tussling under a “pawns” sample and heartbreak “The queen / queen of hearts / Left me with clubs and spades / and I fold.”
There’s heartbreak and desolation on the title track which is reprised in orchestral quartet form to end the release. And it really does feel like a release, of Philippa’s experiences and emotions. But there’s also hope. ‘Home’ finds graceful flight in a rising piano melody, and letting it all out in such a spectacular fashion is cathartic for Philippa and lucky for us.
Our auld Belfast pal Will McConnell’s Bandwidth Sessions shot this video of who he describes as “the greatest new artist from Northern Ireland” Katharine Philippa performing ‘Broken To Be Rebuilt’ on the piano in St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast. Stunning performance.