Roots Pop Singer and Storyteller Kate Schutt Releases New American Roots Single “Death Come Slow”
Especially after the past 18 months that we’ve all been through with the pandemic and the wildfires, to name only a few of the catastrophes that show up in our news feeds, it is hard to avoid seeing or hearing about suffering and death. Although it is an inevitable part of life, accepting death is never easy, especially the death of a loved one. Roots/pop singer and storyteller Kate Schutt wrote the song “Death Come Slow” while caring for her mother who passed away after a five-year battle with cancer. The fourth single from her critically acclaimed Bright Nowhere album, “Death Come Slow” fits squarely in the American Roots sound. The song takes its place alongside the great roots songs of such artists and acts as Brandi Carlile, Alabama Shakes, Rosanne Cash and Mavis Staples, to name a few. The “Death Come Slow” single is out now on all music streaming platforms.
The song is a psychic tour de force, an emotional journey of how we process the reality of a life coming to an end. It starts as a small, almost whispered plea for death to “come slow,” to “come shy,” and “to not look her in the eye.” Kate could be praying here, the accompaniment is so spare, only a single acoustic guitar and her quivering voice. But as the verses accumulate, so does Kate’s courage and fury, the instruments following her feelings–piano, electric guitar, and percussion adding to the gravitas. Kate’s vocals turn desperate, rageful. “Death Come Slow” builds to a chilling, stirring chorus complete with a wall of background vocals and squealing guitars. It’s the sound of grief’s messy, chaotic howl, a keening. As the reality of death’s inevitability sinks in, the singer and her accompaniment give up, retreat. All the sound contracts to a single muffled drum, dirge-like, behind Kate’s forlorn, haunting vocal.
Kate says, “I knew I had something to say to death himself. I was so upset by my mom’s life sentence of a diagnosis, that I needed to pick a fight with him. He needed to hear from me. He was coming, of course, just like he’s coming for all of us someday, but he needed to know who he was messing with. It wasn’t going to go easy. Not on my watch.”
Americana Highways says about the song, “It has an intensity that can hold an audience’s attention with its haunting vocal, chilling yet warm simultaneously. Kate is superb.”
American Songwriter calls it “illuminating” and “the work that ought to bring her the wider recognition she so decidedly deserves.”
In addition, Schutt’s artistry has commanded much respect amongst her peers and industry colleagues. Rob Mounsey, six-time Grammy Award nominee, two-time Emmy Award-winning composer/arranger/producer/pianist produced Kate’s new album, calls Bright Nowhere “a work of artistry and humanity, full of thought, humor and heart, and above all deep sincerity.”
Jay Newland, 12-time Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer who engineered the album, calls Kate “one of the next great American songwriters,” noting “her ability to vocally translate every word to the deepest emotional experience is simply stunning.”
Watch out for “Death Come Slow,” the new single by Kate Schutt, out now on all digital platforms.
More About the Artist
Kate Schutt is an award-winning singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer whose voice NPR calls “glassily clear and glossily sweet.” Americana Highways names her new album Bright Nowhere “superb…one of the year’s best.” American Songwriter calls it “illuminating” and “the work that ought to bring her the wider recognition she so decidedly deserves.” Kate’s songs have won top honors from the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and ASCAP, and she’s shared stages with Terri Lyne Carrington, Bill Frisell, Julian Lage, Scott Colley, and Bernard Perdie, to name only a few.