So, we’re a little giddy to have Katie as our guest here at Speakers in Code. Here are her thoughts on touring with Brandi Carlile, songwriting, Nashville, road trips, and future plans.
You recently finished a short tour with Brandi Carlile. What was that like? What did you learn from Brandi? Were there any shows that stood out?
It was all I hoped it’d be. I’ve been a fan of her music and voice for a while, so it’s been such a treat to get to know her and learn that she is every bit as awesome as you’d hope she’d be. That whole crew — she and the twins and their band/crew are so kind and tons of fun to tour with.
“Wish You Well” from your last album, Apple Tree, kills me every time I hear it. What does that song mean to you, and what inspired you to write it?
Thanks, that’s awesome to hear. That song has meant a lot to me since I wrote it. It’s proven to be one of the more powerful/lasting songs I’ve written. I’m thankful for that. It’s one of those songs that has inspired people to share with me how that song relates to their lives and that to me is a gift; I’m always amazed that people feel comfortable sharing some of those things with me, a stranger…but not really, because I guess I’ve already put myself out there with those lyrics.
I wrote “Wish You Well” in the middle of a combination of things. I had a few friends at the time who’d lost parents and were mourning that, and I also at the time had someone in my life who was sick, so it was really a process of learning what it might be like to say goodbye if I had to. Some lines in the song are deeply personal and specific to me and some are more general and imaginative.
You live in Nashville. What’s it like being a musician in Nashville these days?
Well, I miss the bike lanes, the mountains, and the family and friends I have in Colorado, but I moved to Nashville to be apart of a community of artists who inspire me and who I get to collaborate with. It’s a very collaborative town, and the indie music scene (the non-country scene) is thriving and supportive. Though I have to say I’ve felt a bit less connected the last year or so as I’ve been on the road, mostly. Luckily, it’s a forgiving town, and you can pretty easily jump back into things when you’re home. The most recent reflection of the scene here is the Ten Out of Tenn Tour that I’ve been a part of. Check it out and you’ll get a taste of the kind of talent around here. Also, creating music in Nashville seems easier to me because there is this wealth of musicians and studios and venues and industry that you always have access to.
If you were going on a long road trip with friends, name some of your must have travel songs.
My life is a long road trip! We listen to lots of music in our tour van. I can tell you that the latest favorite songs/artists that have been on repeat are: Vampire Weekend — the new record, Contra, has two songs we repeat — “Horchata” and “Taxi Cab.” Then there is the song “Cosmic Love” by Florence + The Machine, it makes you feel like anything is possible! And we’re always coming back to some of our ole standbys such as Sarah McLachlan, Coldplay, Annie Lennox, Lucinda Williams, Enya, Andrew Bird, Shawn Colvin, and tons more…though I have to say recently I’ve been rocking Julie Andrews’ Biography of her early years book on tape — she reads it herself, and it’s just delightful!
Finally, what is next for you? Any plans to record another album soon?
Yeah, I literally just returned to Nashville for a season where I will be home for larger chunks of time to write and record a new record. I’m prepping for it now, and any day here I will probably be jumping into it.