Writer Mark Roberts / Photographs supplied by Katherine Priddy
Katherine Priddy has been an under-appreciated gem in the Birmingham music scene for a long while, but following her 2021 album The Eternal Rocks Beneath, no longer. Priddy’s repertoire has seen some extensive radio play nationally, being championed by both BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music.
Richard Thompson of MOJO awarded Priddy’s EP Wolf in 2018, his gong ‘The Best Thing I’ve Heard All Year’.
Her track ‘Eurydice’ begins with an almost Burial-esque soundscape, whilst Priddy’s voice and reversing strings subtly create an atmosphere of the ethereal. Fitting, given the song’s title references the character Eurydice from Greek mythology who attempted to revive his wife with his enchanting music. The guitar enters, plucked with the fingers, harp-like, yet with an undeniable bounce contrasting the strings that sweep into and out of the mix.
With drama, Priddy extends her reach into the heavens. Stripping back during the verse with a strong, emotive, legato bassline, Priddy’s vocals wilt and yet soar simultaneously creating a feeling of ephemeral beauty. The fragility of the subject matter reflected perfectly in her voice:
“It feels like we’re fading,
you’re miles away,
are you still there though,
do you have nothing to say?”
This is all loosely sprinkled with atmospheric sounds courtesy of a chorus of Priddy’s voice seemingly refracting within the heavenly place she has reached.
The chorus, an undeniable hook, utilises every weapon in Priddy’s arsenal. The strings, in a fashion that wouldn’t be amiss in a Radiohead track, clash in a both dissonant and harmonious way to move from bridge into chorus. The release of the opening chord is much more powerful for it.
Priddy’s voice no longer wilts but ascends with absolute passion. The guitar dramatically punctuates the harmony, like a saw running through wood.
Eurydice takes its time ebbing and flowing and on its largest crescendo falls to its lowest point. Priddy closes with the line:
“You sink under slowly,
I knew you were only a shadow behind me,
I loved you blindly.”
Harrowing and glassy ‘Eurydice’ finishes.
It’s rare that you hear a song like this, so perfectly arranged, so subtly expressed. It truly moved me. So, stop what you’re doing now and go and listen to/watch ‘Eurydice’ below.
Better yet, go and see Katherine Priddy perform it live at The Glee Club on the 11 May.
‘Eurydice’ – Katherine Priddy
For more from Katherine Priddy visit her website: www.katherinepriddy.co.uk
For more from The Glee Club Birmingham visit: www.glee.co.uk/birmingham