KATE BOLLINGER – ” Look At It In The Light ” EP

Posted: March 8, 2022 in MUSIC

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 stretches on guitar, 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.
Her project is collaborative; she shoots music videos with her friends and colours 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 fast 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 long time collaborator John Trainum work with rappers
in the studio.

Forced to finish her last EP in lockdown, Bollinger, Trainum, and bandmates excitedly returned
to sessions in the spring of 2021 to explore a new batch of songs, now beginning to surface at
summer’s end. In August, she shared “Shadows,” an introspective psych-pop lullaby
characterized by languid melodies, pointed lyrics, and an air of mischief — all on display in the
single’s surreal music video directed by her childhood friend, Kia Wassenaar. Paste Magazine
called the single “warm, dynamic, and inviting.”
With a tour underway supporting Real Estate and dates with Faye Webster slated for spring
2022, Bollinger lets the next one fly alongside the announcement of her first-ever label signing.
From a forthcoming collection on Ghostly International, “Yards / Gardens” finds Bollinger in full
swing, skipping verses of uncertainty above a bright and nimble bassline and kick. Guitarist
Chris Lewis weaves throughout, his riffs unravel across the bridge, trailing her lines like ellipses.

Written with Trainum and Lewis in their shared month-to-month storage space, “Yards /
Gardens” reflects “feeling resistant to change, during a time when it felt like everything was
changing,” says Bollinger. Growing up has become a motif in her work, but she’s never
sidestepped the concept in quite this way. Here, self-assured and surrounded by vivid
production, she leans back in the grass, letting expectations breeze by, reminding herself she’ll
tend to things in good time (“I’m viewing days like practice rounds / come next year, I’ll know
what to do”)

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