New music is something I always look forward to! I recently had the chance to chat with an artist on the rise, Kate Dressed Up! We talked about everything including her new EP, live shows, and so much more. Dive in, and enjoy.
Thanks for taking the name to chat with us, Katie! Please let the Aquarian readers know a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, and how long have you been playing music?
Hello readers; happy to be here. I grew up in North Jersey in a town called Jefferson, right on the border of Morris and Sussex counties, and recently moved to South Jersey to be near Philadelphia. I’ve been playing music my whole life—I’ve been singing since I could talk, I started piano lessons when I was seven, and by age 11 I was teaching myself the guitar. Kate Dressed Up is a solo project that I embarked on basically at the beginning of 2016.
Could you describe your sound to us/genre style?
Ah, yes. Genre. This is a question I always have a hard time with. The most obvious answer is to say that I’m an indie folk singer-songwriter. My weapon of choice is the acoustic guitar, and lyrics have always been my favorite way of expression. There are some blues notes in my music as well, especially since I grew up listening to a lot of Chuck Berry. My all-time musical heroes are Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Johnny Cash, so I’m sure some of that comes through as well.
I see you are about to release a new EP, tell us a little bit about it.
Well, for starters, I’m really excited about it! This is my first EP as Kate Dressed Up, and it was a totally DIY effort. Last winter I really had no idea where this project would take me. I knew I wanted to record this year but I wasn’t sure how I’d go about it. My younger brother, who has literally never produced anything before, offered his assistance since he had the basic software and equipment for recording. We recorded almost the whole thing in my spare bedroom and ended up spending just over a week of nonstop mixing and mastering to have it finished on time. I’m extremely proud of how it turned out, and I’m also very proud of (and grateful to!) my wonderful brother, without whom this would not have happened.
Where did most of the inspiration come from upon writing this release?
Most of the inspiration for this particular collection of songs came from the transition period that I experienced when I moved to South Jersey. I had spent most of 2014-2015 with a different musical project called The Fox and the Rose, and I planned to have my bandmate move to South Jersey shortly after me. Life got in the way, as it is apt to do, and he ended up not moving. Once that was decided, I felt totally lost musically and in life. I started to question all the sort-of-big decisions I had been making up to that point—whether I should have moved, whether I should have moved in with my boyfriend, whether to keep pushing with The Fox and the Rose or start something new. Ultimately these songs are about where I was, where I am now, and where I want to go.
Do you have a leadoff single you’d like people to spin for a first impression?
“All The While, Following Me” is a great place to start for a first impression. It’s an ethereal song about seeking and finding, and then realizing that what you were seeking in the first place isn’t exactly what you thought it would be. This is my personal favorite on the album. It feels like a deep magenta to me, and I like that.
Let’s chat live shows; when and where can we catch you next?
The next event I’m really excited about being a part of is Electric Halloween. It’s a Halloween-themed music festival at Paradise Lakes Campground in Hammonton, NJ. There are a ton of different genres on the bill and I’m completely certain it’s going to be a blast.
Do you feel more comfortable on a stage or in a studio?
They each have their charms, but on stage is where I’m the happiest as an artist. The studio environment allows you to experiment and try different things and there’s a very real satisfaction in hearing your music come together piece by piece. But at the end of the day, a live show allows you to really put it all out there at once and connect with people, which is my favorite thing about music. I also use a looper in a live setting for texture, which adds a lot of versatility that I always have fun with. It’s like playing in a band with myself.
What would you say is your ultimate goal as a musician?
My ultimate goal as a musician is to make music that is meaningful, both to myself and others. I want to always be reaching deeper and improving my craft and myself. Music has been my refuge my whole life; it has literally kept me sane when I was losing my mind. So I hope that my music can be that refuge to others and allow them to connect with something new, or reconnect with something that they’ve lost or forgotten.
For more information on Kate Dressed Up, go to katedressedup.bandcamp.com and facebook.com/katedressedup.