Not So Shitty Hits
Brooklyn-based solo artist and multi-instrumentalist Katie Von Schleicher is back with a self-produced third album, Shitty Hits. Featuring a deeply haunting, Angel Olsen vibe about her sound, it’s assured that Von Schleicher’s hits are anything but shitty.
The album opens with “The Image,” a soulful, piano-led track that showcases Von Schleicher’s dynamic range and vocal abilities. “Midsummer” has a retro vibe with flute-like synths and wavering vibrato in her voice. The song is a standout, featuring a catchy melodic line as she sings from her belly, “I know that it’s wrong / but oh yea, I wanna belong.” “Paranoia” is soft and rhythmic, with a chord progression in the bridge that Mac Demarco would approve of. This track also features ’70s-inspired guitar solos to accompany the melodic line, which repeats “la la la la la la” in the chorus. “Soon” is sultry and slow, featuring a soft saxophone duet toward the end of the track. “Nothing” is dark and distorted, capturing a deepness in Von Schleicher’s voice she hasn’t yet let the listener in on. “I can’t feel nothing at all,” she repeats hauntingly in the chorus over the bounding bass drum and distortion. “Mary” is a soft ballad straight out of a Tarantino film and “Life’s a Lie” is just about the most upbeat song on the album.
But the most angsty melodic line would have to go to “Isolator,” which is another standout track. The give-and-take between vocals and instrumentals really makes the song come to life. “Hold” sounds eerie with an un-tuned piano and chromatic, downward-spiraling voices that register in at only a whisper. “Going Down” gives the listener a feeling of descending a downward spiral — one laden with darkness and distortion, while wailing “never going down again,” as Von Schleicher does in the chorus. The album ends softly with “Sell It Back,” utilizing some eerie sound effects and a soft electro-drum beat, fading until the sounds are all that’s left.
There’s a depressingly depth that Von Schleicher captures in her latest album that’s on par with artists like Aldous Harding, Chelsea Wolfe and Angel Olsen. The self-deprecating title certainly doesn’t do the album any justice; while Shitty Hits has a handful of forgettable tracks, it successfully captures a mood that’s dark and soulful.