There are debuts, and there are arrivals. Kerri Watt's recording casebook opened as long ago as 2014, but now comes a debut album that changes everything for the Scottish fireball. As others emerged blinking and groaning into a new year that looked as suspiciously murky as the old one, the singer-songwriter from Milngavie, near Glasgow in Scotland, is grabbing 2021 by its nether regions with Neptune's Daughter.
She's always released songs with smart lyrics and superior vocals, but now she has a record oozing such raunchy vitality and irresistible confidence, you wonder why it's taken until Kerri's final year of her 20s to get here. As ever, there's a back story full of extremely hard work, of earning the right and of learning the rules so that she can break them. She's paid dues everywhere from theatre stages and the life she thought she wanted, to performing arts school, when she split for California and a performing arts school in her mid-teens.
There's also times where she’s opened for Coldplay at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and Keith Urban at The O2, not to mention becoming a festival fixture across the UK, getting airplay all over the place and streaming her way through the rigours of 2020 on her Watt A Wonderful World series.
By the time she signed a record and publishing deal with Cooking Vinyl in 2019, Watt had already hightailed to one of America's real music capitals, Austin, to start working with cutting-edge rock and metal producer Machine, who comes from a far-removed world, with such producing credits as Lamb of God and Fall Out Boy. With the producer picking her, it was a daring and unusual combination. Across five weeks of working together, you can hear how Machine pushed Watt to venture further than ever before. The results are in the grooves of Neptune's Daughter, a record that possesses the same easy swagger as the whip-smart sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe. Watt is just as happy to rock out with bluesy sass, as she does on 'Worse For Me,' as to strip it back to folky acoustics, as on 'Jessie' and the closing 'I Wanna Sing For You.'
As if releasing her debut wasn't enough, you can tell by the sort of extra-curricular collaborations she's taken on - one with Puma Women for their Stronger Together live stream and the other for a jewellery campaign by French designer Les Georgettes - that Milngavie's finest is ready for the world. Among those also to put their money on the irresistible Neptune's Daughter are Hello! Magazine no less, who recently made her one of their “Rising Stars of 2021”; the accompanying photo shoot has Kerri looking suitably ready for her close-up. There's a line in her song 'You Can't Catch Me', about being born to chase a wandering star, but Neptune's Daughter makes it sound like Kerri Watt has already caught up with hers.
Kerri Watt's debut album Neptune's Daughter is out now via Cooking Vinyl. Watch the video for 'Band of Gold' below.