Kate Bollinger charms us with the delicious news of her new single
Kate Bollinger released her new single Yards / Gardens alongside a dramatic, hilarious and ridiculously well-produced music video.
The Virginia-based artist has also announced his signing with Ghostly International and he feels “like a dream”. Luckily for fans, that dream has come true and Kate is able to continue producing her eloquent songs featuring her hauntingly beautiful and almost vintage voice.
Courtyards / Gardens is a light, summery tune with a stunning bassline and, of course, Kate’s signature soft vocals and confusing lyrics. The clip is a tribute to the movies of the 60s and 70s and tells a satirical story of crime and murder, but it’s cute and fun.
In what seemed like a perfectly suited method of communication, with the vintage themes of the clip, we emailed Kate an interview and were delighted with her eloquent responses.
HAPPY: Congratulations on your new version, Courtyards / Gardens and congratulations on signing up with Ghostly International! How do you find the recording, releasing and promoting process now that you’ve signed on to a label?
KATE: Thank you! It has been really exciting so far. As far as this EP goes, my recording process has remained pretty much the same. I recorded with my producer and my backing band in the same studio in Virginia where I have done everything so far. I wanted to be very aware not to overdo it too early because I think that’s how many projects lose the soul and charm that was appealing to begin with. Ghostly really supported the way I want to pace things. That being said, I think this EP will be a timestamp in some ways as I start to take my music in new directions.
HAPPY: Do you feel like you have more time to just work on the creation?
KATE: Yes, I never imagined I would have so much time. I feel incredibly grateful – it sounds like a dream.
HAPPY: It looks like the new single has two titles, can you tell us what prompted you to name the song? Courtyards / Gardens?
KATE: It seemed representative of the meaning of the song and it worked really well by chance with the clip, which ends with the gardener killing me. Many of my ideas are subconscious and develop in meaning later.
HAPPY: Apparently you worked on Courtyards / Gardens with your guitarist Chris Lewis and with Trainum in your shared storage. What was it like to be in such close proximity again to being able to collaborate creatively after so long without doing it?
KATE: It was awesome, we did a lot of collaborative songs during those months. I am back to writing a little more in seclusion now, but I will remember that time forever. It was so cold and so small in that storage space, we wrote a lot of songs from that era inside in our coats.
HAPPY: I know you said you write lyrics in a dreamlike state and you think of them more as shapes when trying to feel which ones are a good match or stick to the song. I wonder if you’ve ever found a lot of meaning later that maybe comes out in a subconscious way?
KATE: This is how it is most of the time. I never decide to sit down and consciously write a song about something predetermined. The song usually ends up telling me what I’m feeling or thinking.
HAPPY: If I had to read any meaning in the words of Courtyards / Gardens, you are referring to feeling like you wasted time in the past year, having friends with jobs and “Meters”. Of course, that doesn’t seem to be the case from an outside perspective, but do you feel compelled to fall behind throughout the pandemic, either personally or professionally?
KATE: It’s mostly a song about growing up, which I write a lot about. The pandemic has been such a universal setback, so I’m not too worried about how it has caused me to fall behind professionally. Sure, it sounds like a huge block of wasted time, but there are other things I did during that time that I might not have done otherwise.
HAPPY: You said the idea for the clip came to you after receiving a voicemail message, the one that plays at the start of the video. How on earth does an idea like this short murderous tragedy come to you after hearing that you have a flower delivery?
KATE: It didn’t happen to me suddenly! I loved that voicemail the first time I heard it and knew it was something I wanted to use somehow so I kept it. There was a time when I showed it to everyone, I just thought it was great and could be part of a bigger story. I thought about it from time to time and started to invent characters. First the private investigators, then the others. And it was from there that it materialized. I have discussed the idea a lot with my friends, Maddie and Parker. I just got really obsessed with it.
HAPPY: The video shows us this relatively dark story in such a light and campy way. By the way, this is very revealing of your musical style in general. It was not surprising to read that the cast was made up of friends and friends of friends as he seems deeply gleeful to be a part of it. You seem to be having a good time. How did you experience the production?
KATE: It was such an exciting and fortuitous project. I found the director, Mitch deQuilettes just a few weeks before the video was filmed, and he was miraculously available the week I was in town. A best friend of mine from high school wrote the copy for the diary, a local artist from Richmond designed the diary just two nights before the shoot, and we had it printed the day before.
My friend Parker, who played one of the private investigators, came to LA for the shoot and I chose his friend Marcus, who coincidentally already knew Mitch, as my second PI. A few nights before the shoot, Marcus and his girlfriend, Lily, came to the apartment where I was staying for a costume fitting and I chose Lily there as my planter. My friend Shags agreed to play the accomplice and Mitch chose the two actors who played the owners.
We rented a house in Beverly Hills for 12 hours and shot until the very last minute of the sun. Cinematographer and Colorist Jack Tashdjian allowed us to use some film he had saved for a passionate project, which ultimately allowed us to shoot as we wanted.
I also had the support of my label and my team. I don’t really know how it all turned out so magically, but by fluke and a lot of people who were excited and willing to work hard and fast on the video, it happened.
Courtyards / Gardens is available to stream or purchase now.
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