Being inspired by another, the towering artist can have a two-fold effect on those who are inspired. It can turn into just an attempt to copy the original, or it can produce a spirit that reminds and brings something new itself. The late Amy Winehouse certainly had both songwriting and singing capabilities to inspire a multitude of oncoming artists, but many have just tried too hard to walk in her steps. On the other hand, Glasgow’s Kate Reid takes a completely different approach with her latest single ‘Caroline.’
Reid actually recorded this song a few years back and waited with its release along with a few others, so that she could release it at the anniversary of Winehouse’s death since, “…it seemed like fitting and poignant timing,” as Reid puts it herself. Actually, the track was written by Kate’s friend David McSweeney in a coffee shop in Glasgow’s West End shortly after the death of Amy Winehouse in 2011 and ‘Caroline’ is certainly a slow-burning scorcher. No big instrumentation, piano, guitar, accordion, subtle backing vocals from Reid’s sister Hannah and Kate’s delicate vocals.
While in no way tracking Winehouse’s musical steps, it still recalls the spirit of the departed great artist. Fittingly, ‘Caroline’ lasts less than three minutes to point out that Winehouse’s artistry was cut off too early. Kate Reid shares that ”Caroline’ talks about feeling alone even when you’re surrounded by other people and the dark clouds that can obscure even the sunniest soul at times. It also explores how alcohol can seem like a good solution to take the edge off those desperate feelings, but in the long run, it really doesn’t help. Having dealt with depression in its many guises for the last 25 years, it is a song I really knew I could sing.”
‘Caroline’ works brilliantly in two ways. To remind us of Amy Winehouse’s greatness and to tell us how truly talented Kate Reid herself is.