An interview with Katey Brooks ahead of worldwide release of new album, ResolutePosted on: 28 May 2019
Born and raised in Bristol, acclaimed singer-songwriter Katey Brooks is returning to the city next week to mark the launch of her second studio album, Resolute, due for release on 31st May. We caught up with Brooks to discuss her sound, her musical influence and her creative process ahead of a performance at The Redgrave Theatre on Friday 7th June.
What can people expect from a Katey Brooks live show?
I’m told, a lot of raw emotion. For this particular show there’ll also be lots of energy as I’ll have my band and vocalists with me, so expect a big soulful production, with moments of sweet ‘fragility’.
And how would you describe your own sound?
It’s always been a difficult one to pin down. These days I say “If Alt Folk and Americana had a foursome with Indie Pop and Brit Soul”... It’s got a bit of everything. Predominantly I’d say soulful and heartfelt.
Which artists do you think have influenced you over the years?
So many. And probably many I’m yet to even recognise. Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis, John Martyn, Jeff Buckley. And more recent artists I listen to would be Florence, Laura Marling, Bon Iver, The Staves, Foy Vance. I’ve no doubt they’ll have rubbed off on me at times!
You’re from Bristol originally – what sort of impact do you think the city has had on your musical style?
I think when I was cutting my teeth as a young singer-songwriter I was influenced heavily by the great folk scene here. Bristol is such a wonderful place to experiment with your sound, play shows to warm audiences, and be heard and nurtured. Venues like the Folk House are perfect for that.
And how do you feel about returning to the city to launch your new album?
Excited! I love Bristol so much. It’s one of the best cities in the world in my humble opinion. And it means a lot to share the music with my hometown fans.
Which Bristol venues have you played before and which would you pick as your favourite so far?
Ooh, so many over the years! Bristol Folk House, The Fleece, Fiddlers, The Louisiana, St George’s, Colston Hall (The Lantern), The Thunderbolt… I mean really you name it. My favourite is a toss up between St George’s and the Folk House. I feel very sentimental towards FH as it was where I played my first official show as a singer-songwriter, and, well, St George’s is just beautiful isn’t it.
You’ll be previewing material from your latest album, Revolute, at The Redgrave Theatre in June – what was the inspiration for the album and what can we expect from it?
A lot of heartache! But also a lot of letting go, life lessons, and seeing the joy in all of that. You can expect some really tender, fragile moments, some badass soulful and uptempo tunes, and some moments of gospel-esque euphoria. It’s a big mix.
And can you describe the process in creating the album? Was it difficult to put together or did it come fairly naturally?
I think the process of making a record is always big and tough in many ways, because you have to pour so much emotion into it, whilst also, in my case, juggling practicalities and organising everything. So you’re constantly jumping between left brain and right brain. But it’s also a massive joy. Some parts come naturally, and some things feel like wading through treacle. It really depends on the track you’re working on, how you’re feeling that day, and how smoothly the technological side of things decides to go!
I had a wonderful team of people with me on the project. I wore the producer hat, while Paul Quinn, Tarrant Shepherd, and Clint Murphy (Thunder, Busted, Bic Runga) engineered different tracks. Paul also mixed the record as well as writing the chords for three of the tracks, and what a beautiful job he did.
What plans do you have for the remainder of 2019 following the release of Revolute?
I think after the show on June 7th, I’m going to do absolutely nothing for a day. Because it’s been a while and I really need that! From there we’re launching into promo, and festivals, and heading to the States and Europe in the autumn. The main focus is sharing the record with as many people as possible! The rest, well, we’ll see.
Tickets for Katey Brooks' live performance at The Redgrave Theatre on Friday 7th June are on sale now and can be found here. Listen to her new album, Resolute, on all platforms from 31st May 2019.
Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt graduated from UWE with a degree in Journalism in 2018. He's keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends gigs and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.