Kaia Kater Releases ‘In Montreal’ and Announces New Album
UPDATED: April 3, 2024
UPDATED: April 3, 2024

Celebrated roots musician Kaia Kater announces the release of In Montreal, a vivid new song that features the talented Allison Russell. This musical piece is not just a regular addition to her discography; it is a heartfelt ode to Kater’s hometown, enveloped in the cultural fabric of Montreal. The lyrics explore her connection to the city, reverberating with the echoes of her past selves and nodding to the influence of Montreal’s rich songwriting heritage. With its upbeat tempo, the track brings a shimmer of light to the frosty Canadian winter, symbolizing a poet’s quest for purpose amidst life’s chaos.

In Montreal is a prelude to Kater’s forthcoming album, Strange Medicine, which will be released on May 17th. This album marks her most personal work to date, aiming to amplify the narratives of women and those oppressed throughout history. In a blend of introspection and historical homage, Strange Medicine will unravel stories that have not been granted their rightful place in the spotlight.

Aside from the much-anticipated collaborations with esteemed artists like Taj Mahal on the track Fédon, the album celebrates Kater’s growth as an artist. It is an embodiment of reinvention, with Kater expanding her sonic palette to encompass a variety of influences that pay tribute to her Grenadian-Canadian roots, intertwining with the melodic twang of the Appalachian folk tradition. This new chapter in Kater’s musical journey not only honors her past and those who came before her but also carves out a deeper space for her voice within the diverse landscape of roots music.

The Single: In Montreal

Kaia Kater’s In Montreal debuted on April 3, featuring the talents of Allison Russell and invoking the spirit of the city’s poetic history.

Song Analysis

In Montreal stands out as a vibrant tribute to the city that Kaia Kater calls home. The song weaves together references to Montreal’s storied musical past, including nods to icons like Leonard Cohen and Kate & Anna McGarrigle, with the narrative of a poet wrestling with their place in the world. Musically, the collaboration with Allison Russell adds a soulful depth to the track, and the lyrics paint vivid images of a city alive with memories and the shadows of past iterations of oneself.

Inspiration Behind the Song

Kaia’s connection to Montreal is palpable in her music—a city she has left and returned to many times. The song emerged during the quiet contemplation of the winter of 2021, during short days and long nights. It captures a sense of yearning and provides an upbeat exploration of an artist’s emotional landscape.

The track is a love letter to Montreal, capturing the essence of the city’s spirit and its impact on the wandering poet’s soul.  It evokes the haunting familiarity of an ever-changing hometown and the elusive search for purpose.

RootsnRevelry Review

Kaia Kater’s In Montreal is a deeply alluring sonic journey that weaves through the essence of her hometown, capturing the haunting presence of her past selves amidst the changing landscapes. Through the raw energy of the clawhammer banjo, alongside the melancholic melodies of the fiddle and harmonica, the song crafts a poignant narrative of nostalgia, displacement, and introspection. Layered background vocals and a rhythmic drumline add an ethereal dimension, evoking a spectral chorus of Kater’s former selves. This composition transcends mere musicality to become a reflective poetic narrative, painting a vivid portrait of Montreal as a living, breathing landscape of memories and emotions, making In Montreal not just a song, but a rich, immersive artistic experience.

Chris Link

WRITER / CO-FOUNDER, RnR

Eager For More Musical Insights?

If you enjoyed our take on this album, there’s plenty more where that came from. Our extensive library of reviews covers the latest and greatest in new roots music, providing you with in-depth analysis and honest opinions to help guide your next musical adventure. Don’t miss out on our expert critiques – check out our other reviews – and stay informed about the albums that are making waves in the roots music scene.

Eager For More Insights?

Don’t miss out on our expert critiques – check out our other reviews – and stay informed about the albums that are making waves in the roots music scene.

Upcoming Album: Strange Medicine

Kaia Kater is set to unveil her newest album, Strange Medicine, on May 17. This record is seen as a transformative work, skillfully turning grief into joy and sorrow into a glimmer of hope. Kater’s profound and intimate storytelling in this album honors the resilience and strength of marginalized people throughout history.

Strange Medicine resonates with a blend of inspirations — from Steve Reich’s minimalism to Jonny Greenwood’s cinematic scores — creating a rich, auditory experience for listeners.

The upcoming album includes:

  • Appearances from prominent musicians: Allison Russell, Aoife O’Donovan, and Taj Mahal lend their artistry to Kater’s songs.
  • Reflective narratives: Tunes like Fédon, a tribute to Grenadian revolutionary Julien Fédon, tie historical context to contemporary soundtracks.

Strange Medicine emerges not only as a cultural homage but also as an exploration of Kater’s personal history, infusing her own experiences into the fabric of each track.

The album tracklist includes:

  • The Witch
  • Maker Taker
  • Mechanics of the Mind
  • In Montreal
  • The Internet
  • Fédon
  • Floodlights
  • Often as the Autumn
  • History in Motion
  • Tigers

Upcoming Tour Dates

Kaia Kater will be enchanting audiences across various cities in the US and Canada later this year. The dates include a series of intimate concerts in Montreal to celebrate the release of her new single from the forthcoming album Strange Medicine.

These performances will take place in venues that resonate with the city’s heritage, providing fans with a deeply personal experience of her music. The following are her scheduled tour dates and venues:

Date City
TUESDAY 9 APRIL Savannah, GA, US
THURSDAY 18 APRIL Atlanta, GA, US
SATURDAY 20 APRIL Hopewell, VA, US
SUNDAY 21 APRIL Warrendale, PA, US
TUESDAY 23 APRIL Columbus, OH, US
SUNDAY 28 APRIL Wilkesboro, NC, US
FRIDAY 17 MAY Groton, MA, US
SATURDAY 18 MAY Cambridge, MA, US
TUESDAY 21 MAY Hamilton, ON, Canada
WEDNESDAY 22 MAY Toronto, ON, Canada
THURSDAY 23 MAY Montreal, QC, Canada
FRIDAY 24 MAY Kingston, ON, Canada
SUNDAY 26 MAY Ottawa, ON, Canada
SATURDAY 1 JUNE Brevard, NC, US
WEDNESDAY 5 JUNE Evanston, IL, US
THURSDAY 6 JUNE Ann Arbor, MI, US

 

Each performance promises to be a mesmerizing display of Kater’s unique blend of roots music. Audiences will have the opportunity to be among the first to hear her new material in a live setting. Tickets for the listed tour dates are available for purchase now.

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