Band of the Day

2012.09.17

Katie Herzig

Charming contemporary pop with orchestral flourishes
Here we are wandering, aimlessly roaming, lovers who linger and never forget.
lyrics from Where the Road Meets the Sun

Katie Herzig is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter whose work has been featured on television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Cougar Town. She was born into a musical family, but only seriously began to learn guitar as a high school senior after her father gave her one as a birthday present. She studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with a degree in journalism. Throughout her college years, she was a member of the band Newcomers Home. Initially, Herzig served as a backup vocalist due to her anxiety during live performance but soon overcame her fears and became the band’s lead vocalist. In 2006 the band broke up, but by that time Herzig had already released her solo debut, Watch Them Fall which won her individual recognition. She has since recorded three other studio albums, and her most recent effort The Waking Sleep was released in 2011.

Singer-songwriter Katie Herzig has had arguably more success in television than most actors. Since releasing her first solo album, 2004’s Watch Them Fall, the Nashville-based musician has become a favorite of music supervisors across multiple networks. Her songs have appeared in episodes of television shows like Smallville, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill, Cougar Town, Bones, Bored To Death, Drop Dead Diva, and Grey’s Anatomy. With such a musical resume, it would be all too easy to write Herzig’s music off as nothing more than music created with a commercial purpose in mind--but take a listen to her full catalogue, and you’ll find that this supposition couldn’t be further from the truth. She’s a truly dynamic artist, with four full-length solo albums under her belt, ranging from sunny pop, to orchestral folk, to even a bit of synth-pop. Though she was born into a musical family, Herzig didn’t begin playing music until her senior year of high school, when her father gave her an acoustic guitar. While studying journalism at the University of Colorado, she formed a bluegrass/folk band called Newcomers Home with local musicians Andrew Jed and Tim and Laurie Thornton. However, Herzig initially suffered from stage fright and only sang backing vocals, but eventually overcame her fear and became the band’s lead singer. When the band broke up in 2006, she decided to pursue a solo career. Her latest album, 2011’s The Waking Sleep is arguably her most exciting album to date. Produced by Cason Cooley, the album skillfully melds together synthesized elements with acoustic instruments (including cello and violins). Opening track “Free My Mind” mixes programmed beats with Herzig’s sweet, slighty raspy vocals, before building up with orchestral flourishes. “Best Day Of Your Life” is more of a chamber pop number, with an almost collegiate-feeling string section bringing to mind the moment of stepping across a vast green lawn to collect a diploma. Taking a more introspective turn is “Wasting Time,” with melodic hums, the pitter-pattering of rhythmic acoustic guitars, and the gradual swells of violins and cello. Throughout the album, Herzig plays with layering textures that shouldn’t go together (i.e. synths and orchestral instrumentation), but manages to create a lovely contrast that ends up working wonderfully in her favor.