Kathleen Farris's self-titled EP is as raw as it is beautiful. Listen to one track to taste her voice and realize she truly has that intangible quality that wraps around the audience and envelops them into her world. Her songs evoke thought and a kind of painful bliss that makes even the most apprehensive listener of girl - guitar - acoustica stand and take notice.
Is it folk? Is it pop? Is it rock? No one ever knows. If you see Kathleen live it is even harder to define as she really beats to her own rhythm, literally. She stops, gazes out into the distance as if accessing some cosmic information, and then continues on her melodic stream. Watching her is like viewing someone through their bedroom window when they are uninhibited, open, honest.
She began writing lyrics at 13, melodies at 22, guitar parts at 24 and she has albums of soon to be recorded songs. She spent years pursuing a career and only blossomed as a musician while in graduate school in London in 2004. It was London that birthed the self-titled 7 song recording which has drawn attention from record companies and fans across the globe.
Kathleen's material comes in part from working in countries riddled with poverty and the shameless contrast of this to everyday life. She has worked as a tropical, infectious disease scientist, a documentary filmmaker, and an inventor.
She filmed missionaries and indigenous people in the Venezuelan Amazon. She worked with hungry victims of the civil war in Angola. She trained scientists in West Africa and then performed for them while trying to ignore their mouths wide open in surprise.
Her influences span genres to include artists such as Natalie Merchant, Ben Harper, Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman, Jack Johnson, James Taylor, Alice and Chains, U2, and Patty LaBelle.
Her music is a means to communicate poignant messages about humankind and its beauty, hope, and social evolution. Kathleen studied film at the University of Texas at Austin and then set out to go to medical school. Her path appears disconnected and flaky to some, but it does capture the essence that is Kathleen. She currently works for the US government and travels the globe trying to improve the plight of those dying of infectious diseases. She performs, records, writes, and is moved by all the experiences although it may not be explicit in her lyrics, the essence is there.
Kathleen is in the process of recording her first full length album, "Inside Out", which is scheduled for release at the beginning of next year.