Catherine McGrath – Starting From Now

Why has it taken me so long to properly listen to Catherine McGrath? Having heard Bob Harris play “Hell Would Have to Freeze Over” on his Radio 2 show a few months ago, I can’t believe it has taken me until now to give her my undivided attention. Since then, she has released her second EP, “Starting From Now”. Continuing the country-pop sound of her first release, “One”, this collection of four tracks feels like a step up in both confidence and performance. With some incredibly catchy tunes, the influence of Taylor Swift is obvious in her musical style. Yet to term her the “British Taylor Swift” would be more than a bit disingenuous. This 20 year old from Northern Ireland has more than enough individual talent to escape such comparisons and stand on her own merit. Her songwriting skills ooze quality; there is a maturity to them that completely defies her young age. It is hard to think she has not been doing this for years. “When I’m Older”, in particular, has enough lyrical class to be considered alongside a playlist of songs by female country heavyweights such as Carrie Underwood, Ashley Monroe and Maren Morris. This is underlined by the strength of her vocal performance, most obviously demonstrated in the acoustic version of the song “Just in Case”. Despite a lack of pop beats and backing track, she duly showcases the depth of her vocal ability. She is undoubtedly an immense talent. With a voice as beautiful as hers, a sound as likable as hers, and lyrics that are exquisite in every way, I cannot recommend listening to her enough. She is a UK country star in the making. Again I ask myself, why have I not listened to her sooner?!

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