Born in Vienna to opera singer Darrell Parsons and recording artist Julie Parsons, Kat Parsons grew up immersed in music, studying piano and later majoring in theatre at Northwestern University. Since the 2005 release of her $18,000 fan funded album No Will Power she has never looked back.
No Will Power was runner-up for Album of the Year at the 2005 DIY Music Festival, she’s had coverage in Billboard, Boston Globe, Washington Post, The Onion, and more. The International Acoustic Music Awards just named her “Best Female Artist”. OurStage.com & Mike Flynn (Head of A&R at Epic Records) chose her out of 1,400 artists to produce an upcoming single.
Kat has opened for or shared bills with Billy Corgan, Jim White, Spin Doctors, and Sara Bareilles. She’s also performed across the U.S., Japan, Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.
In late 2010, Parsons created a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the manufacturing, art and promotion of her next recordings. Her legions of dedicated fans contributed $19,560. Over the last year, Parsons has released two EPs, each distinct bodies of work: Talk To Me and OH!, the third album in this triad, It Matters to Me is out the 9th of April 2013. “Sometimes I think of a song as a naked body, and there are so many ways you can dress it.,” she said. “I had a lot of curiosity about different approaches — I wanted to try on different clothes.” So, she decided to try them all.
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So with the entire preamble out of the way, what does Kat Parsons and It Matters To Me really sound like? Well what I like about Kat is her reserve and the ability to refrain from ruthlessly fleecing her talents for all its’ worth and beyond. She is not a diva in training. She scores with simplicity.
Kat Parsons comes across as a humble, polished performer who never lets her own talent cloud her purpose; performing brilliant, deceptively simple, and honestly beautiful music. During the album you never bother to realize what style you’re listening to. You simply know it is extraordinary. Kat possesses a voice that is all at once crystal, rich, warm, and intimate. But she is not solely a great vocal artist; she is a sensitive performer as well.
Currently in Washington DC to take part in a fellowship program at Polaris Project, one of the largest anti-human trafficking organizations in the US, Parsons says What Matters to Her is the prevention and treatment of human trafficking. “Through my international touring, I met victims of sex and labor trafficking which led to my awareness of the prevalence of ‘modern day slavery’ both domestically and abroad. “ Compelled to become involved in a meaningful way, Parsons’ volunteered for Los Angeles based CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking) which led to her fellowship at Polaris Project. On April 12th Parsons will perform a benefit show for Polaris Project at Above the Bike Shop in DC.
There is a universal quality to every track on It Matters To Me that makes them stand out of time and place. The lyrics are heartfelt without seeming cliched or rhetorical, never allowing Kat’s music to sound bland or mundane. Not since the likes of Sade, Nora Jones and Tori Amos have I heard a female voice that I could truly appreciate for the quality, uniqueness, and sheer warmth that it transports into my soul.
It Matters To Me is a complete body of work, not to be dissected or extracted by little pieces. So nominating standout tracks is off limits, but I will mention the title track, “Harder Than It Is” and “One Day” as songs that have stuck in my head days after listening to the album.
Kat Parsons is a highly recommendable talent. Don’t miss out!
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