September 09 2019

Annie O Presents Kate Davis

New York-Standard Sounds
Kate grew up as a jazz darling, but she grew into something significantly more dynamic. Days spent practicing and performing became nights spent writing music—cathartic indie rock—simultaneously informed by and rebutting of her training. Time intended for technique slipped into secret listening sessions of Beach House, Elliot Smith and TV On The Radio. In the same bright, arresting croon that ignited her youthful stardom, Davis created confessionals. Throughout twelve tumultuous tracks, she poetically reflects upon the intricacies of what it is to live, ruminating on topics too close to her heart; identity, self-worth, loss. Trophy will be released November 8, 2019 on Solitaire Recordings. Annie O caught up with Kate before her show at The Standard, East Village on Sept 9.

You have a new album coming out in November- Trophy. Why the title?

I named the album after my favorite track that made the album. It felt like a triumphant way to come back out with music after many years of radio silence. 

The album is called your indie rock debut-do you agree with that? 

Yes, I totally agree. I was trained in classical and jazz music as a kid and had a brief stint as a jazz babe post college, but quickly realized that wasn’t the path I wanted to follow. I had to hide out and write and learn to figure out what I really wanted to pursue musically—the result is my album, Trophy.

Tell us a bit about the recording process in Brooklyn? 

I recorded with a producer named Tim Bright. Though we mostly worked in his home studio, we did some live tracking in larger studios in Brooklyn (Mission Sound, Trout Recording). Had some amazing days with the full band tracking to tape, and a super memorable day with a string quartet called Brooklyn Rider.


"I also had dated a very sweet hypochondriac which provided great inspiration."

What is the story behind the song open heart?

I wrote Open Heart a long time ago as a new songwriter while I was experimenting with writing down dreams and telling relatable stories in extremely literal ways. I also had dated a very sweet hypochondriac which provided great inspiration. 

Is it true that you picked up the violin at 5 years old and the bass at 13?

It is entirely true. My mom was the neighborhood piano teacher and as a kid had to choose between violin and book club—so she kind of lived vicariously through me. Not mad about it, though. 

Tell us about your collaboration with Sharon Van Etten and how did “Seventeen” came about? 

I got to work on Seventeen with Sharon back in 2016. We had recently met and decided to try writing together. She had been one of my singing and writing heroes so the opportunity was something I’ll never forget. I’m just so glad that we were able to work on something that ended up serving her as an artist!

There’s so much out there to learn.

What are you listening to these days?

I’m listening to a lot of different music - Mojave 3, the new DIIV, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Hazlewood, Thom Yorke, Alex G, and Mothers. Just to name a few. I listen nonstop—never get tired of listening to great music. There’s so much out there to learn.

Do you like being on tour?

In the past I’ve done a show here or there—have never spent extended time on the road. I am really looking forward to my five NE dates in November. I love to travel… so hopefully I’ll be running around a fair amount in the future. 

What can we expect from your show at the Standard, East Village as part of the Annie O Music series?

I am gonna play all of the songs from my new album! Also, a handful of special covers. I play with three amazing musicians (Tim Bright, Alex Foote, and Mike Riddleberger) and we’re all really looking forward to it. 

INTERVIEW BY
Annie O