+ Alex Cornish
+ Raevannan Husbandes
Kathryn’s new album “Crown Electric” will be released by Caw Records/One Little Indian in the last quarter of 2013. It will be her 10th studio album. Her new single will be released in Summer 2013.
14 years ago, Kathryn famously made her debut album Dog Leap Stairs for £80 on her own label Caw Records. “This was before My Space, Facebook, BandCamp, Soundcloud. It was just me and Belle and Sebastian doing it ourselves. I think I stood out because of that, oh and because I said in NME that the A&R people I had met were idiots… you know I may have used a harsher word.”
Her follow up album, Little Black Numbers, was made for a grand total of £3000. It went on to be nominated for a Mercury Music prize in 2000. Kathryn sold 40,000 records from her bedroom and landed a three album deal with Warner Brothers label East West. Kathryn made two further albums on the East West label. The critically acclaimed Old Low Light, and the well received timeless covers album, Relations.
Her next two albums were released on Caw Records, The more electric Over Flyover and Leave to Remain with arrangements by Kate St John.
Throughout these years Kathryn was suffering from stage fright.
I used to have to sing alone in the studio with no one there, I would never write with people, it was all so private. Then I made a record with Neill Maccoll called Two’ and everything changed.
Kathryn’s last three albums have all been with label One Little Indian. The first being a solo release The Quickening, which was musically directed by Kate St John. This stunning album was comprised of a musical line-up of top session musicians, who not having heard the songs, had a run through over microphone set ups and then had no more than four takes per track to all play live. You would never think that was the process listening, although there is an audible excitement of things just forming.
Her next release was with band The Crayonettes alongside new collaborator Anna Spencer. This album titled ‘Songs for children and robots‘ was a response to being a mother for the second time and “wanting music to listen to with the kids that didn’t drive me completely insane!”
This experimentation with genres and styles ranging from hip hop songs about hop scotch, to country songs about sweets on the floor, to the Velvet Underground-esque “How hot is a toad?”.
During this time Kathryn had made many new musical friends. Bass player Simon Edwards and wife Ginny Clee would often let Kathryn stay with them in London, from these nights round a table, the band The Pond was born.
The Pond was mixed by Adrian Utley of Portishead, It infused all of Kathryn’s folk, 60′s and 70′s influences, with Simon and Ginny’s love of world music. African, Indian and Mexican instruments colour the songs in a unique way. All of this laid on top of programmed beats. It was a bold and fresh side step for Kathryn.
“I’ve come to this point in my career” she says, “where I’ve been on my own label, I’ve been on a major, I’m now on an indie.
I’ve worked with different musicians, been in different bands… success, failure… it’s all meaningless. It’s about a journey. I had said at the beginning of my career that I wanted to be able to make record after record and learn from each one. It’s brought me here. This record feels like the one. I know.. yawn yawn heard it all before…. but I had more than 40 songs, I whittled it down and down to the best 20. Then I took 18 songs in and recorded 16 of them and out of those I chose the songs for the record.”
“I knew that I wanted Neill to make this record with me. I knew I wanted him on guitar, and that he could speak for and with me and I knew we’d be on the same page.” The string arrangements that sit very prominently on the record were written by cellist Ben Trigg. Drums are Luke Flowers (Cinematic Orchestra, James Yorkston), and double bass is Jon Thorne (Lamb, John Smith, James Yorkston). All of the songs were recorded live in four days at the Bryn Derwen studios in North Wales. The studio nestles at the bottom of black mountains away from the world. Kathryn and Neill went back there to mix the record with engineer David Wrench.
Kathryn’s 10th studio new album ‘Crown Electric’ will be released by Caw Records/One Little Indian in the last quarter of 2013. Her new single will be released in Summer 2013.