She’s the Grammy-nominated American singer who bagged the Eurovision trophy for The United Kingdom in 1997. And in May this year, 40 Eurovision stars joined a virtual choir to sing her winning entry “Love Shine A Light” — a timeless song that resonates even in today’s uncertain climate.
Now fans of Katrina Leskanich have something else to look forward to: On August 28th, she’ll release her much-anticipated new album Hearts, Loves and Babys.
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Hearts, Loves and Babys is a self-written, 10-track album that delves into Katrina’s world — and what a world it is. It’s filled with pop-rock numbers that retrace her relationships and her life, which she has navigated with her wise takes on matters from love to loss. Although it’s autobiographical, many of the themes are universal. Katrina is a poet of the every day — where we live and die, thrive and survive, and fight for our place between those extremes.
Unlike most albums that pack in filler among the gems, Katrina doesn’t have to. A master editor, she’s stocked it only with what matters and what can live on its own. From the debut single “Drive“, which serves as the opener, to the closing track “Willing“, every song boasts melodic precision cradled with excellent songwriting. Wiwibloggs were sent an advance copy and we couldn’t keep our hands off the repeat button!
You may have heard “Drive” already. It premiered on the Ken Bruce show on BBC Radio 2, and rightly so. It offers the right dose of escapism during a time of isolation — here in Britain and abroad. It’s reminiscent of an American roadtrip — an idea that will feel particularly accessible these days. Surely anyone in quarantine will want to get out and go.
“I Want To Love Again” was written for Samantha Fox when she was toying with representing The United Kingdom at Eurovision. “Beyond Love” is a pop-country song inspired by the music of Shania Twain. “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby” — the only cover song on the album — introduces a departure from Katrina’s rock offerings. Instead, we hear an American sweetheart skipping along playfully while lifting hearts. My personal favourite “Move On” is a deeply touching, deathbed lullaby written by Katrina as a poem for her dying mother.
Her previous work has been covered by greats including Celine Dion and Dolly Parton, years after release. There’s no doubt that “Hearts, Loves and Babys” will gain greater appreciation over time. Artists will be drawn to this like moths to the flame (or perhaps that light that Europe shined back in May).
The new album won’t mark the first time that Katrina has experienced a resurgence.
In 2008, Katrina & The Waves watched their global hit “Walking On Sunshine” became the most played song on US radio (2.5 million spins) — 23 years after its release. Katrina is always relevant.
What do you think about Katrina’s new album Hearts, Loves and Babys? What are some of your favourite songs? Tell us in the comments section below!