The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - JACQUELINE LE

Aus­tralian singer Kate Miller-Hei­dke has re­turned to dizzy­ing vo­cal heights af­ter leav­ing her la­bel to in­de­pen­dently re­lease her fourth al­bum.

O Ver­tigo is a feisty, more res­o­lute state­ment from the singer, who is best known for her af­fect­ing raw bal­lads.

Her nim­ble voice still has a trade­mark clas­si­cal edge, jump­ing in­ter­vals with haughty flair. But she isn’t just Kate Bush with a turntable.

Miller-Hei­dke seems to have some­thing to say, ral­ly­ing against the “haters” with self-af­firm­ing lyrics about liv­ing life on her own terms.

“I’m sick of turn­ing it down, I’m sick of hold­ing it in, I’m sick of tip­toe­ing ’round, qui­etly bleed­ing,” she sings on the record’s first track, Of­fer It Up.

It’s a fit­ting de­scrip­tion of the 32-year-old’s mu­si­cal jour­ney. Miller-Hei­dke parted ways last year with Sony, her long-time record la­bel, and turned to crowd-fund­ing plat­form PledgeMu­sic for her lat­est al­bum.

Fans ral­lied in record time, help­ing Miller-Hei­dke reach her fi­nan­cial tar­get in three days.

In turn, the singer has given the pub­lic what they want, with a lit­tle ex­tra thrown into the mix.

Miller-Hei­dke broke on to main­stream air waves in 2008 with the catchy Can’t Shake It. Since then, pop-opera folk has been mas­tered by the hugely suc­cess­ful Florence and the Ma­chine, as well as Kiwi songstresses Kim­bra and Lorde.

The Opera Aus­tralia per­former can sing, no doubt about it, but the vo­cal py­rotech­nics on MillerHei­dke’s al­bum at times dis­tract from the song­writ­ing.

There are many styles on this al­bum and some of the re­sults are an ac­quired taste.

The trilly yo­delling of the ti­tle track’s cho­rus is catchy but maybe not in an en­tirely wel­come way.

On the other hand, MillerHei­dke’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Me­gan Wash­ing­ton, Ghost, is very dance­able – in con­trast to the melan­choly of her folk-rock bal­lad Share Your Air with Bri­tish singer Pas­sen­ger.

Sing to Me is in­of­fen­sively rous­ing, with a solid bassline to give her lofty vo­cals a bit more punch – a prom­ise ful­filled by the fol­low­ing track, Drama, which has the rat­bag rock­i­ness of a 1990s grad­u­a­tion tune.

O Ver­tigo is in ef­fect a yo­del – re­peated changes of pitch, as well as style and moods by Miller-Hei­dke, who makes no apolo­gies for show­ing off her mu­si­cal range.

Kate Miller-Hei­dke plays By­ron Bay Blues­fest, Tya­garah Tea Tree Farm, on April 19.

Kate Miller-Hei­dke

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