Album Review: You Again by Kat Lock

Kat Lock breaks through with her pop/rock sound, theatrical flair, and relatability on EP “You Again”

A message from the Make Oklahoma Weirder team: this article was originally written by Evan Jarvicks in 2019 and is being released as part of MOW’s “VVeirder VVinter Vault” of 2023.

As mainstream pop hits grow ever more synthetic and underground rock seeks harshness to evolve, artists like Kat Lock are a breath of fresh air. She proves that music doesn’t have to be dour to be grounded in reality, nor does it have to flock to technological fads to be progressive.

Kat Lock OKC Music
Oklahoma’s theatrically-trained Pop/Rock Icon, Kat Lock

The solo debut from Lock, formerly of buzz band St. Basic, is a catchy, confident, and creative outing that uses novel arrangements to augment direct and relatable lyrics. Though her style is always somewhere in the middle of the pop/rock continuum, it’s Kat Lock’s big, theatrically trained vocals that skew it towards the former. 

On You Again, she delivers a knockout collection of new songs with help from her backing band and a few collaborators. While topics on relationships and romance are hardly rare in music, Lock draws from unique personal details to convey original angles on modern love. Her songs come from a post-romcom world where conflicts aren’t the result of simple misunderstandings but instead develop from messy interpersonal friction.

Dating is fraught with wily courtship, reckless emotions, and trust issues, and Lock doesn’t shy away from any of it. On lead single “Biggest Mistake“, for example, she even embraces it. She is savvy enough to know that first impressions rarely last and opts to make the most of it. Then, if a relationship should fall toxic, she has no qualms about using her articulate vocal delivery to call guys out in song.

Fortunately, You Again does so in style, never falling into musical cliches that such starry-eyed or bitter themes often find themselves in. Where many pop tunes prefer a straight narrative to accompany a singular musical approach, Lock weaves in a variety of departures. From the trumpets on “Biggest Mistake” to the guitar solo on “Art” to the fan-favorite tempo changes on “Embarrassed”, there are multiple artistic choices that speak to the unpredictable zeal of romance.

Though Kat Lock is still one of Oklahoma’s newer faces, You Again solidifies her as one to watch. Her songs hit with thoughtful writing and a bold willingness to explore complicated parts of herself. The real twist, though, is that she exercises her charm and wit to sweeten the album experience without sugarcoating any of it. 

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aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.

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