Updated: May 12, 2021
Have you heard of Kate Dressed Up? Well, you should. Beginning as a solo act, leader Katie Miller has transformed her talents into a full-blown band known today as Kate Dressed Up. Creating music since 2018, this current iteration of the group did not come together until this past summer. While Miller was selecting a special group of musicians to take the road on tour, she gathered these four, and although the tour was not feasible, the musicians stayed together and continued to create. This current line-up includes; Miller on guitar and vocals, Vincent Karaitis on guitar, vocals, and musical right hand (left hand of Kate Dressed Up herself). Elyse, best friend and sister to Miller, lends her vocals to the group; Ryan Hillsinger, producer and owner of AGL Sounds, keeps the beat, while Nick Lacobelli provides the bass. Miller describes the band as a “semi-fictional entity that resides within and without. She is no one and everyone. All are welcome under the umbrella of this pseudo-identity.” A beautiful sentiment about inclusion.
Although Kate Dressed Up is more or less an indie-folk band, Miller describes the band as more fluid. She explains there are “no preconceived limitations or boundaries to the creation of this music, and [we] are always aiming to make it beautiful regardless of the story being told or the mood conveyed.” But the one thing that has been central since its origin is Miller’s Martin guitar, directing many musical decisions and aiding Miller to discover her songs.
The latest release for the quintet is “Ride Home,” the first single from their upcoming album and first release in three years. Recorded in Flux Studios in NYC and produced by Ravi Bhavsar, this single takes a sonic turn from Miller’s previous works, which were all self-produced. She describes the premise of the song as “realizing you dodged a bullet, and it comes from a place of strength and healing.” Perhaps a feeling many of us have encountered before, but when Kate Dressed Up sings about it, it sounds way more eloquent. The track begins as classic Kate, spacious with solo vocals and plucking acoustic guitar. At 0:37, a slow build-up begins until 1:10, when the drums kick in, and the full band enters to rock the chorus. The song keeps continuity with the repeated chord progression while holding the listener’s interest with the additional variations and layers like the (awesome) twangy electric guitar chords sliding in. The inclusion of live drums is a first for Kate Dressed Up but creates a fuller, more elevated sound. Possibly a musical foreshadowing of the upcoming album.
LONG STORY SHORT: Kate Dressed Up perfectly blends the beauty and simplicity of folk music with an indie-pop palette. “Ride Home” is catchy, well-produced, and leaves you wanting to hear more.