I'd heard about this wonderful new singer songwriter from Portadown, Katharine Philippa. But I'm ashamed to say she hadn't hit my radar as much until the past week or so. I have been listening to her EP "Fallen" on almost constant loop, mainly in the car, while ferrying children back and forth to summer schemes. After a few days I noticed that instead of the usual calls for Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, and possibly Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Waters", the request from the back seat was for Katharine Philippa, or "that girl Katharine". So track 1 goes on and the title track "Fallen" aches its way out and around the car. It is heartbreakingly sad, her voice compelling you to listen, to share in the moment with her, however blue it makes you feel. A discussion ensues between the two 5 year olds as to why this music is sad. Is Katharine sad? Does she sing all sad songs? She should sing happy music? Is she happy? And I'm thinking, this is great, a straightforward critique of the music; no agenda, no comparisons, just experiencing it as only a child can. So I decide to push them a bit more. What do you think of this music? No answer. Then LR, my daughter's friend, pipes up. "Marie-Louise....?" "Yes" I ask, "Look, I can make my tongue curl backwards".
And I laugh out loud. Happiness and sad songs do go together!