Based in the cold North in Aberdeen, Scotland, Best Girl Athlete is producing music with a warmth and maturity beyond her 15 years. The singer-songwriter, aka Katie Buchan, has a youthful innocence contrasted sharply with the experience in music she has inherited from her folk-singer father, Charley Buchan, and is quite evidently a number of steps ahead in comparison to musical contemporaries of her age.
Her début album, Carve Every Word is evidence of how advanced she is in her field, helped along by the gorgeous and complementary production that adds both style and substance to her already accomplished songwriting ability.
Strong and obvious leading tracks, such as ‘Leave It All Behind’ and ‘Talk’ stand out as great pop ballads with folk touches in the right places. Accompanied with a seemingly simplistic backing band and minimal set up, there’s a real organic feel to Buchan’s music, using string sections and backing vocals in specific moments where it is deemed suitable.
Well-constructed and tentatively-crafted melody appears throughout, highlighted in particular in the middle of the record on ‘All That’ and ‘On My Own’, where the album comes into its own and Buchan seems to become more of an absolute authority in her field.
“Anyone who had a heart that broke in two. Anyone who had a heart like you.” sings Buchan on ‘He’s Calling Me Over’. Quite touchingly, the teenager stays very close to the bone on this record. Unafraid of bearing a sense of vulnerability and making that apparent to an audience, she has managed to tap into a method that translates in all methods of songwriting and in particular the pop and folk genres she is rooting herself to currently.
Best Girl Athlete’s Carve Every Word is a record layered with intelligence, maturity and established musicianship. Alongside an already quite blatant gift for writing music, Katie Buchan has thought through each individual element of the record and has come out with a first effort that should stand up as a solid début record regardless of her age. With youth on her side, this album is a benchmark for greater things to come from this truly talented singer-songwriter.
Carve Every Word is out now via Fitlike Records.