• 19
  • 01
  • 2023
  • 07.30
  • pm

Now Wave presents Kate Bollinger

Please note this is an 18+ event

Kate Bollinger’s songs tend to linger well beyond their run times, filling the negative space of ordinary days with charming melodies and smart phrasings. She writes them at home in Richmond, Virginia, letting her subconscious lead, an open-ended process she likens to dreaming. From a chord progression appears a line, maybe a syllable will start to stick, enough to pursue, but she says sometimes the words don’t feel like her own, more like shapes that form in the mind’s sky. While many are personal and deal with the emotions that surface with finding her place in the world, she’d prefer they be whatever you’d like them to be, to connect with listeners in their own way. Bollinger’s musical universe is relaxed, tender, and unassuming; within lives a timeless sensibility, a songwriter’s knack for noticing the little things and their counterpoints. Darkness and light, pain and pleasure, reality and escape. These all have space to be seen on her new EP, Look at it in the Light, her first project on Ghostly International, arriving in spring 2022.

Bollinger’s project is collaborative; she shoots music videos with her friends and colors each of her folk-pop songs with musicians in her community. An agile group of players with backgrounds in jazz, they recorded her first EP, I Don’t Wanna Lose, as live takes in a single day, then slowed it down to build out her 2020 EP, A word becomes a sound. Bollinger sings quickly at times; she jokes that can get her into trouble when it comes to playing live, “some of these songs are going to be a mouthful.” She’s always been drawn to singers in that free-flowing style and got into the habit of writing quickly while watching her longtime collaborator John Trainum work with rappers in the studio.

Forced to finish her last EP in lockdown, Bollinger, Trainum, and players excitedly returned to sessions in the spring of 2021 to explore a new batch of songs. The parameters were different this time, Bollinger explains, “We wanted to make limiting decisions and to stick with them, rather than leave things open, and we wanted to hear certain flaws and parts of the process.” Inspired by the music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, particularly a lot of the old Beatles demos, they focused on the orientation and clarity of sound. “I like being able to hear the bass, the guitar, the drums, the keys, and for each instrument to be playing a singular part that is good enough to stand alone.”

 

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