Jazz star Earl has officially returned with another album titled Tongue Tied, which is now available on multiple platforms, including Amazon, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and her official website. To purchase the album, click here.
Although we may know her as Kate Earl, she was born as Kate Smithson, who grew up with a Filipino mom and a Dutch/Welsh dad. She says her childhood included being surrounded by music, particularly jazz. At the age of four, she was already playing the piano, and she soon started singing in the church choir and composing music at the age of eleven. She attended a strictly Christian school, where she describes herself as being a “sheltered, innocent” girl.
However, when she was a teenager, Kate began to have big dreams, and soon became involved with the radio department at the University of Alaska. She then wrote her very first song while in college in Santa Barbara.
In 2005, Kate released her debut album Fate Is The Hunter, and officially changed her name to Kate Earl. Then in 2009. she released her second album named Kate Earl, and her third titled Stronger in 2009.
With the release of each album, she strayed further from that “sheltered” girl she once described herself being. When her third album debuted, she had a son, whom she wanted to take along with her on tour. However, her then-label did not support the idea, and that was when Earl said she began to truly stand up for herself.
When you’re responsible for another human life you realise how valuable life is and you start to understand your own worth. Because I learned to speak up for someone else, I learned to speak up for me.
She soon relocated to London and signed to BMG in 2015, and that was when Earl decided to make a few changes in her music.
“I spent years writing sad stuff. I’m done being sad. I’m tapping into something joyful. It’s way harder than writing sad songs, to put that across in a way that is familiar yet unpredictable. That’s the challenge.”
With the release of Tongue Tied, we can say that Earl has achieved exactly that. The album contains twelve songs, with the first being “Strange Heart.” The song is a mix of jazz and blues, and is a eulogy of her past, singing in the church choir. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, as Earl confidently admits, “I’ve got a strange heart!” It is a power anthem and the perfect song choice as the opening for the album.
Next is “Travelling Heart” which tells the story of someone falling in love unexpectedly, with lyrics, “One kiss and you stole the show. Give me all I need to know. Yeah you came along and stole my travelling heart.” The song can resonate with anyone who has ever fallen for someone.
“Smoke Rings” is the opposite, as Earl sings of a doomed romance with, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, see you at the funeral of our lust.”
“Since You Kissed Me” is where the singer reveals she wears her “heart on her sleeve.” It is about constantly thinking about someone after that first kiss.
The title track “Tongue Tied” is a modern swing, honoring Marilyn Monroe. The song is a perfect representation of the album, and Earl as an artist, as it is jazz with a modern twist.
“I Love You” is a beautiful song that showcases Earl’s sultry voice. “Baddabing Badaboom” is another standout on the album, with its upbeat rhythm and cheeky lyrics.
“Lazy Man” is different from the previous tracks, as it is about a physical relationship, with lyrics “You don’t do nothing, unless I’m wearing nothing at all.”
“All That Glitters” has a 1930s sound and is inspired by the artist’s past collaboration with Lana Del Rey. “In Love and War” is about having that special someone as support in both difficult situations and happy moments.
“Play With Fire” tells the story of an unconventional romance, as the lyrics describe feeling as if the relationship is a “game.” Although it may not be the best relationship, the person can’t help but be drawn to their partner.
“One Dance” is a cover of Drake’s hit song. Although it may come as a surprise to find the track on the album, Earl’s rendition makes it sound like an original song of hers that ends Tongue Tied on a perfect note. It just proves how Earl has the talent to make any song her own.
Overall, Earl’s Tongue Tied is filled with twelve powerful songs that showcase the singer’s vocal talents. They each have their own distinct sound, outstanding beats, and incredibley relatable lyrics. With this album, Earl has become an entirely new artist that will leave a strong impression among its listeners.
She has truly come a long way from that “sheltered” girl she once described herself as, and even the album’s cover (photographed by Bryan Adams) represents her energetic and confident self as an artist.
As she says herself, “Tongue Tied represents me having so much to say for so long and being suppressed for so long. It sums it all up.”
‘Earl’s new album ’Tongue Tied’ is now available via BMG Records. Order the album here.