Katlin Mathison, aka Okay Mann, grew up in a small town in Canada surrounded by people with no chance to escape. Maybe it was fear of falling into the same situation that led Katlin to cross the pond to England.
Studying under the legendary Paul McCarthy started him on a musical wanderlust. From England he recorded a gold single in Norway, honing a quiet, introspective sound. Returning to Canada gave him plenty of opportunity to further refine. But, with “When You Go”, Okay Mann has shifted tone.
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For nearly 50 seconds, “When You Go” is the old Okay Mann—contemplative and studded with singer-songwriter elements. Singing about those same people he saw cemented into his hometown, he weaves a tale of a luckless youth whose lover is leaving for greater things. The arpeggiated guitar repeats the same progression, looping, looping, looping.
Almost without transition, the chorus hits. A fiery pop rock sound from the man who left, singing about someone begging to leave. The guitar comes front and center, driving the futility home. The raw, ugly emotion pleading to escape on the coattails of a lover lingers as the chorus fades into a softer verse.
“Well, is this my fate or could you take me with you when you go?” he asks. Fifteen seconds of the guitar fading into the distance answers.
Stream “When You Go” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.