The Bluest Star finds Katie Bennett returning to her roots while also setting up a framework to grow past them. The last Free Cake For Every Creature album, 2016’s Talking Quietly Of Anything With You, was the first made in a proper studio in a set amount of time. For The Bluest Star, Bennett set out to record at home when inspiration struck, slowly amassing a collection of songs that’s as powerful as any she’s put out. They were recorded by Bennett and her longtime touring bandmates Francis Lyons and Heeyoon Won in West Philadelphia. That atmosphere is apparent throughout the album: there’s a constant presence, of the city’s hum outside and the warm, echoey sound that it feels like only the walls of a house can provide.
If Talking Quietly Of Anything With You was the result of the tumultuous comings-and-goings of your early 20s, then The Bluest Star is about the doldrums that settle in once you find a routine and decide to stick with it. “Are we just getting older? We ride off to our jobs, then run home to wash them off,” Bennett sings on one track. Early single “Be Home Soon” depicts the comfort that can come with having a schedule, and within that newfound rigidity you can start to get a sense of the person who you really want to be. The Bluest Star is filled with self-motivated directives to stay aware and constantly engaged. “Wide-eyed girl/ Why’d you swallow your words?” she asks herself on “Whole World Girl.” “Wide-eyed girl, you gotta stay awake ’cause you’re a whole world… girl.”
Bennett’s arrangements have also gotten more ambitious and assured. She trips her way through the tower of words in lead single “Around You” so that the chorus hits just that much harder. The elongated “I just want to… hang around youuuuuu” ends up sounding exactly like the rush you get when you start to get closer to someone. “Shake It Out” is a personal favorite, a gem of a pop song gently pushed along by the pitter-patter of a drum machine and some indelible guitar licks. Each word feels like a new lesson learned: “We can try to shake this out of us/ ‘Til we’re soaked new and shining,” Bennett sings, solidifying that the best path to happiness is through each other.
Listen to The Bluest Star and check out Free Cake’s upcoming run of tour dates below.
08/02 Ridgewood, NY @ Trans Pecos * ^
08/03 Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits * ^
08/04 Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston *
08/05 Providence, RI @ AS220 +
08/06 Boston, MA @ Great Scott +
08/07 Portland, ME @ Aphoadian Theater + $
08/08 Burlington, VT @ Arts Riot $
08/09 Montreal, QB @ La Vitrola $
08/10 Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
08/11 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
08/12 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s %
08/14 Michigan City, IN @ Quality Beet %
08/15 Chicago, IL @ The Hideout %
08/16 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop %
* w/ Told Slant
^ w/ Slow Ref
+ w/ Horse Jumper of Love
$ w/ Lisa/ Liza
% w/ Amy O
The Bluest Star is out 8/3 via Double Double Whammy. Pre-order it here.