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 eedback’s Julia Kochuk to discuss mu- sic, the future and fairies.
JK: What are you up to now?
KC: This year’s been pretty mellow. I spent so much of last year away from home, so I’m focusing on community things, reconnecting with Victoria and Vancouver, giving back. I’m writing and compos- ing a lot for my third album, recording at the [Hive Creative Labs]; it’s going to be quite different.
Your second album was also quite different from the first.
I like changing it up. It’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 don’t totally know yet; it’s still very young—in conception. I’m trying to get as many people in- volvedasIcanonthecreativeprocess.It’sbeenthe hardest for me to write.
I’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?
I’ve become more confident. My first solo album had its own special charm because it was the first. I knew it’d be compared to peers and The New Por- nographers, but I didn’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.
You’re working on a documentary too, right?
The documentary [by the Yellowbird Project] is on ALS. I’m just the subject. It’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 magical—were fairies and/or unicorns at your wedding?
I seem like a unicorn and fairy kind of gal, don’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 what’s on your “musician bucket list?”
I’d like to further my career, whatever that means. And I’d love to write for film. That’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. That’ll be a really fun show.
You can see Calder cross off “play on a roof some- time” from her bucket list September 28th at UVic’s 50th