Spotlight: Kat Edmonson

12:45am, Elephant Room

Spotlight: Kat Edmonson

Lines of live-music-goers regularly spilling up from the basement of Austin's jazz haven, Elephant Room, testify to the allure of Kat Edmonson, fans waiting impatiently outside through the first set in the hopes of joining a capacity crowd for the second. With her March 10 debut, Take to the Sky, the local torchbearer's smoky vocal seduction rises from the underground with a stunning set of covers, ranging from familiar standards such as "Summertime" and "Night and Day" to subtle and understated jazz arrangements of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven," the Cardigans' "Lovefool," and John Lennon's "(Just Like) Starting Over."

"I wanted to push forward the idea that these tunes are not only equally important to me, but they're hip," offers the petite 25-year-old. "A lot of people botch up standards and take them for granted. Part of this record, actually, was to really examine, without getting too technical, pop music today and the past few decades – pop music of like 70 years ago – and show that, altogether, they're all pop songs and that they can be presented as great songs and not just jazz or pop. I really like the idea of defying genre."

While her youth breathes new life into the American Songbook and her talent galvanizes the local jazz scene, Take to the Sky only represents one facet of the Houston native's deep and versatile repertoire. Edmonson has also begun releasing her own pop songs online, garnering national attention with Obama-inspired YouTube sensation "Be the Change" and new single "Lucky."

"Inevitably I'm going to have a pop record, too," she affirms. "I have a lot of original tunes that I've written and started producing at home that I would eventually like to compile. But I've had a lot of fun with releasing the individual singles, just putting them out on the fly."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More by Doug Freeman
Watch This: Rett Smith Drops a “Nickel In My Well”
Watch This: Rett Smith Drops a “Nickel In My Well”
Somber songwriter debuts live cut from Arlyn with sophomore LP release

Oct. 22, 2021

Ethan Azarian’s Life on the Fringe
Ethan Azarian’s Life on the Fringe
A new album emerging, the songwriter-painter reflects on his journey

Oct. 21, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Kat Edmonson

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle