Charlottesville, VA-based musician Kate Bollinger has announced a new EP titled A word becomes a sound. A breathtaking five-song collection that touches on pop, folk, jazz and beat-driven experimentation, A word becomes a sound, the follow up to Bollinger’s 2019 EP, I Don’t Wanna Lose, is due August 21st via House Arrest. Pre-order HERE.
Bollinger has shared the EP’s R&B imbued lead single, “Grey Skies.” Provoking a sense of ease though it contemplates the inevitability of oncoming sorrow, Bollinger explains: “The lyrics are a self critique about how indecisive I am and how self sabotaging it can be. And then the later part of the song is about losing steam, becoming apathetic, becoming cold and unworried which can happen after being so anxious for a long period of time. As a whole it’s kind of about looking for warning signs, like ominous clouds or grey skies, and not letting them bother you and convincing myself that they don’t mean anything, I tend to get really anxious about things 20 steps in advance and waste a lot of energy when nothing bad even happens in the end.”
For Kate Bollinger, knowing how to articulate exactly what she means would take a seemingly unattainable level of communicational prowess. Because of this, her nuanced songwriting gives listeners a framework within which they can project their own experiences. “I try to write in a way that leaves each song open to interpretation because I want people to hear their own relationships reflected back at them when they listen to my music,” she says.
The forthcoming A word becomes a sound is, in some ways, Bollinger’s first proper release. While she was happy with how her EP I Don’t Wanna Lose turned out, she says “everything was so new to me, so I didn’t take things where they could have gone. Every song you hear is a live take and I was so excited to record the songs as I had written them, so there wasn’t much in the way of production after the fact. When we recorded A word becomes a sound, I really pushed myself to actualize what I heard in my head.” Recording the EP was hard-fought; the COVID-19 crisis hit before the band was able to finish, so Bollinger and her collaborator John Trainum were forced to complete the project under unprecedented circumstances.
A word becomes a sound flits between sonic sensibilities, never once settling on a single sustained mood. The EP grounds itself in Bollinger’s nimble voice, which fits a torrent of emotion inside of it. “My music has a really soft center and when I write I am finding a balance between something delicate and the darker feelings surrounding it,” Bollinger says. “Many of my songs are about childhood, because I am lucky to have had a pretty idyllic one.”
But what happens when childhood ends and the anxieties of adulthood come to dominate a once-carefree mind? “My songs, and the sadness in them, comes from reflecting on an easier time.” And the end result makes for one of the most exciting introductions to a new artist you’ll hear all Summer.