Magic Pixie Dreamgirl
If you’re one of those cynical folks who’s so over whimsycore and sick of the pixie dreamgirl (be she manic, mellow or otherwise), I entreat you: take a look at one final elfin creature, the radiant Kate Miller-Heidke. Her third studio Nightflight is a cup of Paula Cole, a pinch of Renaissance Faire, and a gallon of awesome.
Already a number one in her Australian homeland, Nightflight brings some signature Kate quirk in a package that is far from adorkable. Her operatic background makes a few key cameos; in “Humiliation,” for example, she’s placed a breathtaking descant on top of an experimental pop groove, and the effect is just fantastic. “Sarah” is the most striking track, telling the story of a girl whose best friend disappeared at a concert in 1997, only to turn up at home a fortnight later with no memory of where she’d been. Beyond the fascinating storyline, the song itself is thrilling, with a gripping chorus and just the right amount of classical influence. The title track is another favorite, where Kate speaks plainly about travel:
“I’m 35 hours and 3 bad movies away/and if one more person coughs on me, I’m gonna punch him in the face.”
Picture that, in a magical Kate Bush-meets-ballet-class package. Such fun!
There’s a lot of up-and-coming ladies in the indie pop scene, and though many have the chops, few are as special as Kate Miller-Heidke. She perpetuates the artistic stereotype of The Stupidly-Talented Australian, breaks barriers between pop and opera, and she deserves our full attention.