Kathryn Calder, Victoria-native solo artist and full-time member of The New Pornographers, embodies Vancou- ver Island. Her voice, river-clear, bends through foggy forests of reverb, syn- thesizer and drumbeats. After releasing andtouringfortwocriticallyacclaimed solo albums, Are You My Mother (2010) and Bright and Vivid (2011), Calder is coming home. Kathryn met up with F eedbackâ€™s Julia Kochuk to discuss mu- sic, the future and fairies.
JK: What are you up to now?
KC: This yearâ€™s been pretty mellow. I spent so much of last year away from home, so Iâ€™m focusing on community things, reconnecting with Victoria and Vancouver, giving back. Iâ€™m writing and compos- ing a lot for my third album, recording at the [Hive Creative Labs]; itâ€™s going to be quite different.
Your second album was also quite different from the first.
I like changing it up. Itâ€™s more fun.
What emotions were behind Bright and Vivid? It was tough for me. My mom just died [from ALS], so I was in a haze. The music was really foggy and dense in some parts. I wonder if that was subconscious, reflective of where my mind was at the time. We can psychoanalyze.
What about this next album?
I donâ€™t totally know yet; itâ€™s still very youngâ€”in conception. Iâ€™m trying to get as many people in- volvedasIcanonthecreativeprocess.Itâ€™sbeenthe hardest for me to write.
Iâ€™m always trying to grow, to write better songs, to progress. I feel a self-imposed pressure to be a little bit better than last time.
How have you progressed since your first al- bum?
Iâ€™ve become more confident. My first solo album had its own special charm because it was the first. I knew itâ€™d be compared to peers and The New Por- nographers, but I didnâ€™t know exactly what I want- ed. Now, I know better how to run a solo career and to make things in my mind become reality.
Youâ€™re working on a documentary too, right?
The documentary [by the Yellowbird Project] is on ALS. Iâ€™m just the subject. Itâ€™s the story of my first al- bum: the music, my life, my story and raising aware- ness about ALS through the caregiver perspective.
You married your producer, Colin Stewart, last year. Your music is magicalâ€”were fairies and/or unicorns at your wedding?
I seem like a unicorn and fairy kind of gal, donâ€™t I? It was pretty magical. We had it in Saanich on a farm. It was great: lots of family, friends, music, drinking. A couple of fairies.
Cheesy, but whatâ€™s on your â€œmusician bucket list?â€
Iâ€™d like to further my career, whatever that means. And Iâ€™d love to write for film. Thatâ€™d be totally fun.
And if playing a concert on the roof was ever on your bucket list, you can cross that one off really soon.
Yes. I would really like to play on a roof sometime. Maybe in the next year. Particularly at UVic. Thatâ€™ll be a really fun show.
You can see Calder cross off â€œplay on a roof some- timeâ€ from her bucket list September 28th at UVicâ€™s 50th