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Katie Cruel, Lost Vagus


The past is forever bleeding into the present on Lost Vagus, Katie Cruel's debut due this September. Recorded on Radar in a cow barn, Cruel’s record is an intoxicating collection of tainted love songs that float within the trademark reverb and space perfected by Grammy-winning engineer and producer Mark Howard. On Lost Vagus, Cruel and Howard joined forces to produce the album, creating an undeniable synergy that elevates these deceptively simple and subtly layered songs into the velvet fog.


“Katie Cruel” is a centuries-old traditional folk song that tells the tale of a woman who falls out of favour with those who once celebrated her wild charms. Katie Cruel is a singer-songwriter who named herself after it. 


"The song reminds me that there have been women like me, in my situation, for eternity,” Cruel says. All of the songs on Lost Vagus resonate with a heavy blend of resignation and vulnerability as they tell the stories of women who find themselves at the intersection of chaos and control. These are songs for those who know how it feels to distrust your own desires. People who exhale smoke with every sigh. Katie Cruel is a ghost on the move but she keeps her eyes on the road. 


Howard and Cruel’s dynamic and roomy production creates a vastness and openness within the music that allows for the intimacy and delicate tension in these songs to be heard. The collaboration between Cruel and Howard was sparked by a serendipitous encounter. They met while working on another project, but it was Cruel's old Gibson guitar that caught Howard's attention. The old guitar became the catalyst, igniting a creative spark that led to the birth of Lost Vagus. "Music is my sacred space,” Cruel confesses. "I don’t really bow down anywhere else.“


Howard's reputation for live-off-the-floor techniques allowed for a near-telepathic interconnectivity among the players (Cruel, Anna Ruddick, Gavin Brown, Jimmy Bowskill, Michael Chaves), resulting in an immersive musical experience. Cruel reflects on the recording process, emphasising the absence of digital manipulation. "There’s no pro tools. Most of the takes are done front to back," she recalls. "I stood in front of this beautiful old microphone w my guitar, and when Mark said go, we just went. I figure why not just show exactly and honestly who and where I am right now… but with really nice reverb: and that is Katie Cruel." 

The album embodies Cruel's freedom and adaptability, capturing the sense of cosmic ease with which the songs came together. It highlights the mysterious ways in which the world provides answers to questions we didn't know we wanted to ask.


Lost Vagus is a testament to the enduring power of music to express, across chasms of time, the barest truths of our little human lives. With Katie Cruel at the helm, Lost Vagus is a vessel that will transport listeners to ethereal realms where the past and the present lay down their arms and hang out in that space between.


Lost Vagus is out wherever you get your music! Thank you.

- K. Cruel.

KC photo: David Leyes

KC graphic: Winston Rountree


Tour Dates


Nov 29- Toronto, On

Td Music Hall at Massey Hall

Jerry Leger Album Launch


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Copyright 2023 Katie Cruel

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