One Track Mind: Katie Costello, "Isn't It Lovely" (2011)

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Photo by Deborah Lopez

Opening with the old-world charm of an accordian and trumpet, at once lonesome and timeless, Brooklyn-based Katie Costello’s “Isn’t It Lovely” slips into your head like a thief. The whole song has a similar cunning, never going too far yet always beckoning us closer into Costello’s interesting word play.

“Isnt it lovely, the rhythm of the sea,” she sings, against an insistent piano signature, “the deep black blue whispers gentle melodies. Isn’t it lovely, the pitter-patter of the rain — the drops fall upon your face, each with its own domain.” You keep expecting Costello’s rough whisper of a voice to elevate, to carry us over the edge into the typical diva aphorisms of the day. Bravely, she never caves to those expectations — and “Isn’t It Lovely,” so quietly effective, is all the more memorable for it.

Costello was featured in April as artist of the week on the front page of Vogue.com. “Isn’t It Lovely,” originally from her project Kaleidoscope Machine, is included on the newly released New Arrivals Vol. 4, a benefit project from MPress Records. Proceeds will be directed to the National Network For Youth, a homeless outreach program. Visit mpressrcords.com or nn4youth.org.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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