Canadian Singer-Songwriter And Producer Kat Bryan Drops New Single Ahead Of Debut Full Length Album
Canadian singer-songwriter and producer Kat Bryan signed to AnalogueTrash in early 2022. Since then, she has released three singles - Circus of the Living, Devil’s Curse, and Centre of the Earth - in the lead-up to her debut full-length album, Music for the End of the World.
Inspired by innovative artists like Nils Frahm, Sigur Rós, and Imogen Heap, Music for the End of the World see's Kat Bryan blend her warm and soulful roots found in a love of classic jazz with vibrant and lush electronic instrumentation, allowing her to effortlessly skirt the edges of both the electronica and pop genres.
The creative rebirth that led to Music for the End of the World was set into motion by a number of factors, one of which was the life-changing effects of Covid-19. Music production had become a focus for Kat during the early days of the pandemic when like many, the daily work routine changed suddenly and dramatically. It was also a process that saw Kat develop her previously folk-oriented sound into something more akin to soulful electronica with a subtle gothic flavour.
Says Kat, “When I started writing the songs that would become Music for the End of the World the world outside was in chaos and the world inside my head was equally chaotic. We were about six months into the pandemic and a lot of people, myself included, were beginning to question their lives and the world around them.
“I was also a couple of years into a massive journey of self-discovery and healing from a traumatic experience, so it truly felt like some version of the world was ending. Whether it was a global, physical ending of the world, or just the life I thought I knew, wasn't clear. Either way, there was a profound change in me that comes through in the lyrics of each song. Most can be interpreted both as the collective experience of living through a global pandemic, as well as an intensely personal crossroads, and both would be accurate.”
Inspiration for the album’s themes stem from various strands of Kat’s personality, life experiences, and creative influences:
“I've been a dark soul most of my life with a greater sympathy for the villain than for the hero in most cases,” reveals Kat. “This darkness is heard throughout Music for the End of the World with early reviews accurately describing the singles as ‘brooding,’ ‘atmospheric,’ ‘haunting’ and ‘gothic.’ With deeply emotional lyrics and a sonic palette of watery synths, cloudy pianos, deep and dark bass, and driving drums, this album is me.
“It is my experience processing a difficult childhood and devastating revelations. It is the world waking up to a new reality that is a little bit terrifying. It is the embodiment of the emotional toll that necessary personal growth and unexpected change can have. Every single word is real and true and comes directly from my heart.”
Despite its beginnings, Music for the End of the World is not a dour or morose album. It’s instead the manifestation of a journey of self-examination and personal rebirth in tough times, and an homage to looking within oneself for answers on the path to self-actualisation:
“Even as I lean into darkness, there are also moments of brightness to the album where it becomes clear that these songs aren't about being stuck in any one place or time, they are about moving through difficulty. At no point do I wallow in the depression of being in a dark place, but am continually pushing through it, exploring my own feelings and perceptions and processing what I need to, in order to move forward.”
In common with many of us, the pandemic has had a profound effect on Kat’s life and outlook:
“I spent 2021 and 2022 furiously writing music, while also exploring the world of music production. I have written songs for over 20 years of my life but had previously limited myself to traditional instruments.
“Diving into production through my home studio opened up a plethora of new creative moments and finally allowed me to release what had been in my head into some place permanent. My love for traditional instrumentation can be recognized in the choral style background vocal arrangements as well as my clear addiction to pianos of all kinds.
“Many of the tracks incorporate more than one kind of piano to really explore the edges of what piano music is. I'm inspired a lot by Nils Frahm who does incredible things in manipulating keyed instruments. I really like the effect of layering something that has a whole host of delays, reverb, echoes or other manipulation on it, with something warmer and more familiar. That blend of organic and synthetic is actually a theme to most of what I do.”
Adds Kat about the alternative sounds prevalent on the album and its inspirations:
“My work is also inspired by some of the more innovative acts from the 90s including Garbage, Kinnie Starr and Poe who all blended electronic, rock and hip-hop notes to create their own sound. I tend to favour hip-hop, dubstep, trip-hop or rock- inspired beats, and I like to combine and chop them up, so they are a little unbalanced. I will often reach for heavy and deep-seated low-end bass, along with a collection of synth keys or midi instruments that sound like they're coming from the bottom of the ocean.
“My musical aesthetic is about darkness, but it is about the beauty that is found in that darkness. It is important to me as an artist that there is always a bit of sparkle somewhere in the mix, as my work is about embracing the darker sides of experience for the strength and growth that comes from facing demons. I'm a strong proponent of getting to know your demons.”
Music for the End of the World is released on the 28th of October via AnalogueTrash in digital and CD formats and will be available to stream and download on all major stores and platforms.