Echoes. I remember that moment vividly. A NoiseTrade newsletter sometime in 2016. Before it was polluted by all the PledgeMusic stuff. Her picture was magnetic somehow. A kind a sweet, but “take-no-bullshit” look that was daring you to listen. I followed the link.
The artwork. Intriguing. A picture taken from the inside of a broken down, empty house (church?). As if I already knew. Even before hearing a note, I had a feeling it was going to be special. Then it played. The acoustic guitar and subtle percussion. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Wrote you a letter, but I kept in my pocket
For 15 years or more
I broke your heart in two
I never wanted to
It’s all that I can do sometimes…
I’m walking the world
With a noose around my neck
I’m playing my cards
With no ace left in the deck
I’m walking the world
I’m walking the world
I’m walking the world
For those of you who don’t know Kate Lynne Logan, you should instantly fall in love with her perfect alchemy of folk and pop, sprinkled with some Americana. She has been particularly prolific this past year, releasing a full-length album (Sleeping Giants) and two additional singles (Gasoline, Anything at All).
This past month, she also released a 4-track EP called Northern Sky, this time also handling the production helm. Jano Lapin took to opportunity to interview Kate Lynne on the recent release. “I guess the main link between songs is just that I always wanted to be creating things. I pulled from recent emotional experiences. I tend to write a lot of songs about relationships, as you know. And there were some raw moments that set roots to those seeds of songs that I tended to until they bloomed into what they are. So I built a handful of songs. Although I had a lot of wonderful help creating it, I was the one ultimately calling the creative shots this time.”
The album is a natural evolution from the sound adopted since Echoes. Simple arrangements, centered around the acoustic guitar or the piano, most of the time giving the spotlight to Kate Lynne’s wonderful vocals. And what a voice she has! I’m not talking those glass-shattering type of powerful vocals. It’s a voice that carries emotions and has a warmth that’ll make your knees buckle every time you hear it. It’s also a voice that gets better and better with each new recording, this time shining as bright as ever on album closer Wish You Well, a piano-ballad enhanced by the violin and vocal harmonies of Jonathan Berry. “I think it’s natural for a person’s voice to mature over time, with practice, experience, and growing confidence. I learned better techniques in the studio. And believed better things of my abilities over time. That clear warmth can be attributed to Kevin [Veatch]’s recording ability, as well. Recordings are made or broken by how a producer treats a voice. A lot of magic is lost in a poor quality recording.”
She mentions Kevin Veatch. The two have teamed up together since Echoes, with Kevin handling most of the instrumentation and also playing various roles throughout the years (producer, co-writer, mixing engineer, etc.). It’s fair to say he’s been an important part of her sound as of late. “Kevin has definitely played a huge part in what I’ve created the last few years. He’s an incredible musician and producer; he’s a multi-instrumentalist, with an ear for quality and a mind for professionalism. He “enhances” what I do.I definitely value Kevin deeply, and we will, for sure, continue working together in the future.” You can get a glimpse of that chemistry on the wonderful video made for the song Roosey Roads (below).
Another highlight of the new EP is A Drink With You, a fun track about sexual tension between two individuals (“We’ve been friends for a little while / Maybe I noticed your body, too“). The song won’t tell you if the consummation happened, it stays as a desire, a fantasy. It’s one recurring theme in Kate Lynne’s lyrics over the years that I’m particularly fond of. Her ability to put into words the “what ifs” or the many moments spent wondering about decisions made at various crossroads. “The “what ifs” in life always plague me. I want to know all the answers to everything, everywhere. I wish I knew the outcome of every decision I make, but that’s obviously not possible. I spend a lot of time in my head. Sometimes I get obsessed with certain topics and it shows.”
Anything At All
At the end of 2018, Kate Lynne issued the single Anything At All. This deeply moving song has the particularity of being a declaration of love from one woman to another. Even though she’s been public saying she identifies herself as being queer, it’s the first time she’s been that explicit in one of her song, pointing to the fact that this is not a man-to-woman relation. With the rise of conservatism in the United States and June being Pride Month, how important is it for the Seattle-based artist to identify and be part of the movement?
“I usually post about it this time of year, definitely because of pride month. I absolutely think it’s an important thing to speak up about. I think there’s a faction of people who are “tired of hearing about it,” and think it’s a fad. But it’s a human rights issue.
For example, it’s still legal in half the states in the US to be fired based on sexual orientation. That’s just absolutely insane to me. So it’s important to me to speak out because we won’t have the clock rolled back on us and be shoved back into the proverbial closet. And I want others to see I’m not just a statistic or a political problem – I’m a real, living, breathing person you’re talking about.
It’s also a mental health issue. There are multiple, credible scientific studies that show how damaging it is psychologically to be isolated and kept in the closet, or bullied.
I also speak out for personal reasons. I came from a religious background and every time I speak out, I get a little bit of the power back that I gave away to an oppressive religious institution for many years.”
At this time, it’s still unclear what are going to be Kate Lynne’s next plans. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see her write a diss song on her Seattle Mariners? “I should definitely write a love-hate song to the Mariners for repeatedly breaking my heart!”
Find more about Northern Sky and everything Kate Lynne Logan on Bandcamp!
CPA (although he doesn’t want people to know about it — oops!). Francophone and Francophile, he has a dream of bringing Québec’s two solitudes together through cultural exchanges. Improv Actor for 15 years. Music lover, from New Age to Death Metal and everything in between.