Taken by Surprise

by Kate Weekes

Released 2019
Released 2019
Singer/songwriter and guitarist Kate Weekes expertly maps the musical spot where landscapes and emotions converge via accessible, jazzy folk/pop inspired by the planet’s northernmost locales
All albums are travelogues of sorts, deep dives into foreign (sometimes familiar) worlds undertaken with little more than a guitar, a notebook, and an unquenchable desire to explore. Few artistic journeys have been as expansive as the one mounted by Kate Weekes as she assembled Taken by Surprise, recorded with James Stephens in Chelsea, QC. This dazzling third solo album charts a tumultuous period in Weekes’s life; her first album to fearlessly chronicle not just the physical landscape around her but also the emotional one within.
Now based in Eastern Ontario after nearly a decade spent immersed in the Yukon’s vibrant music scene, Weekes drew on an astonishing array of experiences including dog mushing-for-hire in Norway, touring China with a swing band, canoeing from Whitehorse to Dawson City and, notably, several intense personal relationships to write these by turns mournful and joyous songs.
That unique backstory explains why a one-genre description simply cannot capture the album’s musical scope. It’s more like: eclectic, lyrical, vocally propelled folk/pop with subtle jazz underpinnings buoyed by everything from organ to flugelhorn to trumpet. Indeed, you might say Taken by Surprise is the ultimate sonic scrapbook of a bold life lived to the fullest.