Katie Pruitt Album Reviews

Katie Pruitt grew up in Atlanta and was raised Catholic. She attended Catholic school and mass. She got into music in middle school, learning the guitar and enjoying musical theatre. But she quickly became interested in songwriting, using it to communicate. She attended open mic nights, and her mother told NPR

She just kept writing songs and getting better and better and better, I mean, there wasn’t a song that I didn’t like, even in high school.

Jennifer Pruitt, NPR

Her songwriting skills were apparent as she collected awards like the Nashville Songwriting Scholarship and the Buddy Holly Prize. She’s also a talented vocalist, with a warm, expressive voice. She released her debut album, Expectations, in 2020.

Katie Pruitt Album Reviews

Expectations

2020, 9/10
Pruitt’s debut album Expectations, released at the age of 25, is focused on coming-of-age issues. Pruitt writes about the tension of growing up LGBTQ in a conservative household. Songs like ‘Normal’ and ‘Expectations’ openly portray Pruitt’s experiences.

What’s it like to be normal?
To want what normal girls should?
God knows life would be easier.
If I could be normal, then trust me, I would.

Pruitt’s voice is warm and full, with a pleasant rasping edge and a southern accent that recalls Stevie Nicks. This impression is augmented by the first single ‘Expectations’, which taps into the same warm pop/rock as Fleetwood Mac, with lead guitar that recalls Lindsey Buckingham. She uses her voice wisely, often singing within herself, but is able to launch to dramatic emotional climaxes. These songs are robustly written, and Pruitt’s also a strong lyricist (“But her body’s my temple and her soul is my savior” is a great line), but she has the vocal ability to invigorate lesser material.

‘Expectations’ taps into an upbeat pop/rock sound, but much of Pruitt’s material on the rest of the record is more restrained. There’s classy and straightforward country on ‘Normal’ and ‘Lovin’ Her’. The moodier pieces like ‘Grace Has A Gun’ and ‘My Mind’s a Ship That’s Going Down’ recall Julien Baker, who covers similar thematic territory in the intersection between LGBTQ and faith. Pruitt cites Brandi Carlile as an influence, and her admiration for another golden-voiced Americana artist makes sense.

Since Expectations is so autobiographical, it will be interesting to see where Pruitt goes with her next release. She’s a talented vocalist and emotionally honest writer, so I’m expecting more great things.


Mantras

2024, 9/10
Katie Pruitt isn’t a household name, but she’s now released two of my favourite albums of the decade. On her sophomore album Mantras, Pruitt is still unpacking her adolescence. She’s often still processing her Catholic upbringing – the album’s first two singles are titled ‘Blood Related’ and ‘White Lies, White Jesus, and You’.

If you say that Jesus gives you peace of mind
That’s a good enough reason for me
And if it really helps you get some sleep at night
I’d kill for a little of that peace

Katie Pruitt, White Lies, White Jesus, and You

Pruitt’s eloquent and thoughtful, never dipping into sentimentality. Her vocals are less central than the debut – more restrained and less dramatic. But her rhythm guitar playing is energetic, giving her thoughtful tunes a shot of energy. Opener ‘All My Friends’ and ‘Worst Case Scenario’ are both driven by Pruitt’s guitar.

She’s also effective when she dials back the intensity. Her questioning of gender stereotypes on ‘Jealous of the Boys’ and her refusal to conform to society’s expectations in ‘Blood Related’ are both highlights.

If songwriting prowess, honesty, and lyrical eloquence were indicators of success, Pruitt could be the world’s biggest star.

Best Katie Prutt Songs

Expectations
Jealous of the Boys
All My Friends
Grace Has A Gun
Georgia
White Lies, White Jesus and You
Worst Case Scenario
Normal

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