Photos and Review by Blanton Leigh
On her first headlong tour, actress and insanely talented singer-songwriter, Katelyn Tarver brought along Jack Gray on this stop of the Compliments Only Tour in Carrboro, NC at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room.
I first discovered Tarver through the release of the Kool Aid EP (check it out if you haven’t), and I haven’t looked back. Since then she’s released a ton of amazing singles, and her debut album Subject to Change in 2021. I don’t think I can put into words what her music has meant to me over the years. As she’s released music, it has almost always lined up with where I’m at in life, and what didn’t resonate at the time, has come to do so as I’ve gotten older and had more life experience. Her songwriting is so simple and elegant, I’m always surprised it hasn’t been written in the way that it has before; everything sounds like an instant classic, like songs I’ve been singing for years. She has a knack for laying it all out there, you can feel her heart through her music, which is why I think it is relatable to many.
Her stage presence was so warm and inviting, and had great interactions with the crowd. She’s very funny and charismatic as well. With the size of the venue, it felt so intimate, like we were all seeing a friend playing a local show. Only one other time have I heard someone sound exactly like their records, and that was Paramore, so I’d say she’s in good company. Speaking of Paramore, I don’t tend to like covers of their songs, they are one of my favorite bands, but Tarver really made The Only Exception her own and her vocals soared, not only for this number, but during You Don’t Know, Love Me Again, and closer Parallel Universe, but she sounded perfect through the whole show. Her delivery is unmatched, I haven’t seen someone feel their lyrics so deeply and intensely in such a reserved and quiet way to build tension and really let it all out by the end. It’s hard for me to pick highlights because, besides the new songs from the upcoming album, I was singing along behind my camera the whole time.
If you haven’t heard of Katelyn Tarver or her music before, take the time to listen to her music, for me it has been life changing, and if you have a chance to see her live, you’re in for a great show! And also check out Jack Gray, I hadn’t heard his music before this show, but I have been listening to him and Katelyn nonstop since the show, I can’t get enough!