EP REVIEW: Kristina Train “Dream Of Me”

Kristina Train is an artist who was not afraid to dream big, but also understood the practicality of her chosen career. As opposed to simply walking in to a record deal blind, she heeded her mother’s wise words and undertook a degree first. The diversion may have postponed her inevitable success in her chosen field by a handful of years, but when a talent is as accomplished as Train, there is little that will hold her back.

Having already established her solo career Stateside with her 2009 debut “Spilt Milk”, Train is teasing UK audiences with the sublime three track EP “Dream Of Me” ahead of her debut UK album “Dark Black”. The move is a clever one. With audiences currently unaware of her dynamic vocal or skilled songwriting, she has picked three differing angles with which to introduce her.

Train is a fusion of Diane Birch, Shelby Lynne, Shea Seger, Mama Cass, Nerina Pallot and Sarah MacLachlan. She is intoxicating and enticing, without ever being overpowering. She skilfully colours her vocal to prompt a reaction.

At her strongest, the EPs chillblain inducing title track “Dream Of Me”, Train uses her epic presence to knock her listener for six. “Lonely Summer” brings a grinding Shea Seger to fore. The blustery blues within Train’s contained vocal is never fully unleashed, but nonetheless pulls all the right heartstrings. Closing with her most radio friendly fodder, Train delivers a winsome, wishful “I Wanna Live In LA”. While “I Wanna Live In LA” is optimistic pop, Train’s sensational vocal is sidelined in favour of an approach-ability.

By placing the standout track first, “Dream Of Me” wilts at first listen, but each of the three songs has the power to stand alone. As an introduction “Dream Of Me” serves Train well-let’s just hope “Dark Black” is scintillating, stirring and diverse as her EP suggests.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

The Kaje talks realisation to Kristina Train

Just over a decade ago Blue Note spotted upcoming starlet Kristina Train at a showcase in New York and wasted little time in encouraging her to sign on the dotted line of a record deal. However, Train followed her mother’s advice and opted instead to take the college route. However, a few years later Train returned to New York, a move which culminated in the release of her 2009 debut album “Spilt Milk”. Since then Train has gone on to tour the world with likes of Herbie Hancock, Chris Isaak and Susan Tedeschi. Having relocated to the UK last year, Train is finally realising her dream of a UK album release, which she preempts with the release of the of the lush “Dream Of Me” EP. Having been blown away by lead single, and EP title track, “Dream Of Me”, The Kaje jumped at the chance to find out how Train felt about finally releasing a UK release.

You are set to release your UK debut album, however you have been active in the industry for several years already. Can you briefly give us some back story…

Its not that brief! I’ve been working towards this for over twelve years now. Before that, I spent my childhood immersed in studying music. I started my first band when I was 14 and played in six before I was 20. I was signed to Blue Note Records and put an album out in the States, toured with many of my heroes like Chris Isaak, Al Green, and Herbie Hancock. Now I’m using all I’ve learned and gone through to make my album, “Dark Black”.

Why has it taken so long for a debut UK release?

I moved to London in 2011 and spent a year (to the almost exact day) getting my armory together. I wasn’t in a rush to sign a deal straight away because I knew that the best way to approach the process was to spend the time refining the songs and the sound without the pressure … Which is what I did and when I was ready, we walked it in to the labels..

Can you tell us a little more about “Dark Black”…

It’s a record which I hope ressonates with all the elements of human life. There is a lot of emotion tied to the songs and reflections of where I am in my own life.

The album is headed up by “Dream Of Me”, is it a good example of what we can expect from the album?


How did you choose “Dream Of Me” as the lead off from the album?

Because I wanted to turn peoples heads (or prick up peoples ears?!) when they first heard my voice on the radio, and I think “Dream of Me” doesn’t sound like anything else out there at the moment…

What other tracks would you recommend listeners skip to?

I don’t like skipping through albums so I hope they will listen to every track.

You are also embarking on your debut UK tour-excited?

Of course, I love to tour, it’s what I live for.

What expectations do you have of the UK tour?

I’m looking forward to getting to know the UK outside of London a lot better. I want this to be my home so I think it’s important to devote my time in the place I love most. I’ll also enjoy sampling the local beer and whiskey.

What can we expect from the show?

Hopefully to exceed expectations!

What makes a good live show?

The unexpected.

What hopes and ambitions do you have for the UK and wider?

I hope that my music can pull people through things that they are going through like the music I grew up listening to did for me.

“Dream Of Me” is out now.


Interview by Jeremy Williams

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