Adelaide songwriter Loren Kate is a busy lady, navigating a continuously burgeoning music career all the while being mum to two children. This month has seen her release a new EP in Til Night Meets the Sun off the back of her Telstra Road to Discovery win in 2014 and a successful recording trip and round of shows in Nashville. Now back in Adelaide and focusing on some great shows lined up before the end of the year, Kate tells the AU about how much this new EP has been drawn from her personal experiences, what the Telstra Road to Discovery has meant for her as an artist and more.
This EP marks a pretty big moment of change in your life, with the Telstra Road to Discovery win and you becoming a mother over the last year. Has the recording process felt more personal now?
It’s always personal for me. All of my songs are written from such an honest place. I definitely do feel that I’ve grown a lot through the writing and recording process of the new EP and feel much more comfortable in the studio and more sure of who I am as an artist.
The lead single is pretty heartbreaking; did you find it difficult to turn something so sad into music?
I love turning sad things into songs, it’s like therapy for me. So many stories come out of sadness and I think writing about them helps to get over them and see a way through it. “When You Leave”, although it’s about my ex-partner’s passing away, I actually see the song as a little celebration of his life and a ‘thank you’ for being such a big part of mine.
What has your involvement been with this year’s bunch of Road to Discovery contestants?
I got to attend the Telstra Road ‘Bootcamp’ a few weeks ago as a mentor and perform at the semi-final. It was so great to hear all the songwriters and get to know them over the week. This country is bursting at the seams with amazing songwriters and performers.
This is EP is produced and mastered by some big players in Australian music; what’s it been like to be able to access to these sorts of people?
The new EP was produced by Glen Hannah, who I actually met on the Telstra Road program last year. He leads the house band for the semi-final and grand final of the program. After rehearsing “When You Leave” with him, I thought, “I need to work with this guy”. I had tears in my eyes from how he had arranged and interpreted the song. The guys who played on the record were absolute superstars, yet the most humble musicians I’ve ever come across.
You mentioned that the video was made with help from some people in your local art community. How has being in that environment influenced your music?
It’s amazing to have incredible artists of all areas in one community. I’ve had an enormous amount of help, I even took my neighbour on tour as my ‘manny’ (man-nanny). I have two kids and life is pretty busy; I have really needed to surrender to the idea that I actually can’t do everything myself. Living in an arts community really helps.
You played at the Americana Festival in Nashville, what was the experience like, being in such an important place for country and folk music?
It was really eye opening. Nashville is such a music mecca. Beyond the boots, beers and honky tonky, there’s this amazing music scene. I played at the Bluebird Café and I had a little panic attack just before I played my first song. I realised I was playing on a world stage. So many of my favourite artists have played on that stage…I’m very lucky.
There seems to be a resurgence in the Americana/folk/singer-songwriter genres, what do you think is causing this?
I’m not really sure, but I think people are listening more to music that they can relate to and the singer-songwriter genre seems to be able to tell stories like no other genre can. It’s mostly easy to understand and easy to listen to.
You’ve released quite a few things – what is next for you in 2016
I’m playing the Woodford Folk Festival this New Year’s, which is such an amazing way to kick start the year. I’ll be touring quite a bit and in between, I’ll be writing as much as I can and hopefully will have another record our in the Spring.
LOREN KATE LIVE SHOWS
October 31st – November 1st | Maldon Folk Festival, VIC | All Ages | Tickets
November 7th | Vegan Festival, Adelaide | All Ages | FREE
November 8th | The Cheese Factory Studio Gallery, Meadows SA | All Ages
November 19th | No.5, Bellingen | All Ages
November 21st – November 22nd | Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby | All Ages | Tickets