Queer Delights: Singer songwriter Katie Pruitt has the goods
Queer Delights is a new, reoccurring column that celebrates queer art, music, and entertainment that delights.
I confess, I originally missed the boat on Katie Pruitt when her debut EP Expectations was released mere weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic began. I also failed miserably to cover her "Out of the Closet" cover song series this summer. It wasn't until Pruitt's cover of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" popped up on a suggested Spotify playlist that I finally pulled my queer head out of the sand and took notice. I plan to rectify my mistake by encouraging you all to stan Katie Pruitt now.
Already an accomplished award-winning songwriter at the age of 26, Pruitt has a knack for entrancing melodies that hash out both painful and beautiful moments from her past. Raised outside of Atlanta in a Christian home, the openly gay Pruitt looks back on her youth with the wisdom of hindsight in songs like "Georgia":
I wanted to be honest
I wanted to be brave
But if my grandmother knew
She would roll in her grave
And my father would scream
He'd scream out in rage
He did not want a daughter whose soul wasn't saved
In the deeply relatable queer anthem, "Normal" Pruitt sings of the struggle to be seen as "normal" while every molecule pulls her in another direction. It's a queer tale as old as time, with Pruitt's own personal spin.
Did they want what's best or did they want what's easiest? 'Cause I tried my best, but God damn, was I curious And she had me high as the sun on a Saturday afternoon With no way to unsee this side of me that she introduced
What strikes me about Pruitt, is not her songwriting, however (though that part is phenomenal): it's her voice. In an age of sad queer music (which was a much-needed release in 2020), where power belts are traded for whispery mumblecore-ish intimacy, Pruitt's voice is like a punch to the chest. It's strong, clear, and not afraid to fray itself at the edges. A voice like that tells a story all on its own.
Pruitt made Expectations with the famed Rounder Records label, which has been home to many similar genre-bending acts like Kathleen Edwards, Indigo Girls, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Sarah Jarosz. If her debut EP is any sign of what Pruitt has in store for her career, we'll be hearing her name and music for a long time to come.
To learn more about Katie Pruitt and listen to her original music and queer women covers series, head over to katiepruitt.com.