Katie Pruitt: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
Katie Pruitt's voice is like a kite soaring through the sky of her songs. Just listen to how it catches the wind in the song that opens her Tiny Desk (home) concert, the title track from her captivating debut, Expectations. "Sometimes I can't get outta my own head," Pruitt begins in a wry monotone that embodies the low mood she's describing. But phrase by phrase, Pruitt builds self-confidence until, by the end, she's fully aloft. Pruitt rides the high of her own chorus without histrionics. Here's an exceptional musician and songwriter who never feels the need to show off.
Throughout this three-song set, recorded in the plant-strewn corner of Nashville's Minutia studio where Expectations was tracked, Pruitt and her two bandmates maintain this tone of steady excellence. She's playing with local treasures Zachariah Witcher on bass and Ross McReynolds on drums, and the trio locks in from the first note, building a cool rock groove as Pruitt unspools her stories. "It's been a hard year," she says. "But one thing about painful experiences is that ... it forces you to grow." Expectations offers myriad scenes of such transformation, documenting Pruitt's journey from a Southern Catholic childhood to adulthood as an out lesbian who, as she sings in "Loving Her," is "staying true to who I am." That song and the heartbreak waltz "Out of the Blue," which completes this set, demonstrate Pruitt's gift: making her particular experiences universally relatable. Like her ace guitar work and that muscular yet weightless voice, these songs inspire with their easy largesse. "Love each other, love yourself, wear a mask!" Pruitt says by way of goodbye, her smile saying, I know you can.
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