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Katy Vernon - Suit Of Hearts


Katy's a good friend of Cool Cat Ukes. We first met at GNUF in 2017, Katy was taking a long UK tour and came to the festival as well as unplugthewood. She's a prolific songwriter (and ABBA fan). She's British, but lives in the US where this album was produced. I think some of that adventure has contributed to this album.

To be fair, this is not a typical ukulele album, although Katy leads with uke and vocals, it's more a ballad/pop album. Impeccably produced, there are drums, bass guitar, keyboards, strings (a proper string quartet, to boot) to fill the audio field. But, Katy's controlled voice and heartfelt lyrics are always at the fore.

Katy performs many of these songs as a solo act with a uke, but this performance is a lot more relaxed with the support of the other instruments. It works very, very well, but don't let that take anything away from Katy as a live solo act though. She's a full-time musician performing solo, with a band and also with her ABBA tribute act.

"Pink Cloud" is so upbeat, to me it's about living the moment, bright, breezy and catchy.

"Latest Disaster" could be an ABBA song, it's got that beat, and the little background synthesiser riffs.

If you're a slide guitar/lap steel fan, "Undertow" uses that to great effect giving sweeping currents of that undertow.

"Somebody's Daughter's Daughter" brings the ukulele back to the front. Like so many of these songs, I'm sure it has a story based in Katy's life, but I'm sure that we can all interpret it the way we want to to fit it to our own. Beautiful.


The reprise of "Listen" is next, just with the strings and uke. Stripped down, I do prefer this to the other version, so much detail, you can get lost in it.

To finish, there's a jolly Christmas song - "Christmas Wish". There you go, this album would make a great Christmas present!

The album as a CD is a tri-fold with all of the lyrics, so you can either sing along, or simply unravel Katy's thoughts with your interpretation.

Katy quotes Alice In Wonderland "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then." One of my favourite books of logical reasoning. It all makes more sense than you can imagine.

For the great songs, great vocals, great production and presentation, this album gets a Cool Cat Ukes Recommended Album Award. It's an album you can play when you have non-ukulele visitors, and you won't have to apologise or explain at all.

The album's available as a CD (I recommend this for the sleeve notes), but as download, on a heart shaped USB stick as well as other merch. Start at www.katyvernon.com for everything. We also interviewed Katy back in June 2019, where she explains more about what she does.

12 tracks, 39 minutes.

1. Suit Of Hearts
2. Listen
3. In Your Shoes (For Daisy)
4. Home
5. Latest Disaster
6. Catch Myself
7. Look To The Sea
8. Pink Cloud
9. Undertow
10. Somebody's Daughter's Daughter
11. Listen (Strings And Voice Mix)
12. Christmas Wish

Review - Simon Taylor, 7th October 2019

Alice In Wonderland has a Cheshire Cat. Always makes me smile.