Stream Katie Gately’s Tri Angle Debut and Read the Stories Behind Her Songs

October 14, 2016 Free Association

Photography JASMINE SAFAEIAN

“I still get so freaked out talking about my music,” explains singer/composer Katie Gately, when asked about her dizzying Tri Angle debut. “It’s like, ‘Oh no, people think I know what I’m doing!’ It’s still so scary to me. The record is done and I still feel like I don’t know!”

Therein lies the joy of listening to Color, actually; it leaps off the rails immediately and embraces the abyss throughout seven truly bonkers tracks. All while maintaining a serious pop sensibility that makes sure every chopped & chewed sample sticks.

“It’s always about how much can I add before it just sounds too crazy,” she says. “What’s the most obnoxious thing I can make the song do? How can I have it be just 49-percent obnoxious and 51-percent fun? I think there is a pretty consistent thread of wanting to honor both things—wanting to honor the aggressive, not pretty sounds, but then also singing and including a melody to balance that.”

Have a listen to the entire record below via Spotify, right alongside Gately’s track-by-track breakdown of just what the hell she was thinking (in a good way)….


“LIFT”
I started this one by triggering a bunch of random room tone recordings with a drum rack, then added some twisted acapella, fireworks, and guitar strings breaking. My friend Alexis did some pseudo-Aguilera diva singing at my house as a joke but I loved it so much that I pitched it up and used it throughout the song!

“TUCK”
This started by synthesizing an off-key sample of me singing into my laptop speakers. The rest is a blur, but I knew early on I was going to go big with a trumpet and saxophones (time-stretched and pitch-shifted a bit).

“SIFT”
A little sonic exploration of a panic attack and a bit of poking fun at the concept itself. Some fun granular synthesis on the vocals throughout, which is endless fun if you like turning into a robot!

“RIVE”
Played with processing classical instruments a bit here—individual piano notes, bassoons, oboes, and gongs. Overall it’s meant to be sad and simple but still aggro-overwhelming. At the end, I turned my voice into a dreary, snake-cello just for kicks.

jasmine_safaeian_9554-web

“FRISK”
A little flipping of the bird to phony friends. Adolescent instincts dominate here! I started by processing a cello and a bunch of garbage can slams. Lots of pitched-up vocals were added, too, as I’m an alto but like to squeal high!

“SIRE”
Arpeggiated a police siren sample and this lead to a sense of urgency. Wanted to make a song capturing the chaotic sensation of loving one who does not love thee back. Instead of blushing and feeling embarrassed and small, I thought I’d holler and take up lots of space.

“COLOR”
Processed some babies crying, which sounded like pretty brass to me and led to a long, sad song. Here I am trying to capture that irksome feeling of being in a room with someone yet feeling more lonely than when actually alone.

FURTHER LISTENING