Americana Artist KATE VARGAS Opens Up About Her Newest Album “Strangeclaw”, Biggest Inspirations and More
Posted On 03 Nov 2016
On September 13th, the New York-based outlaw-americana artist, Kate Vargas released her album, Strangeclaw .
True to her Southwestern roots, Vargas’s music “weaves through a riotous brew of folk, blues and rock, deli vered by an undeniably unique voice… It’s like the sound of a favorite bourbon come to life: gritty, but with loads of personality to spare.” -( The Deli Magazine )
The Berklee College of Music grad is an Albuquerque, New Mexico native who moved to New York in 2011 to kick off her solo music career. Vargas soon landed spots at various music festivals and gigs at national and international venues, including the Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival in Ireland, London’s The Troubadour, Kex in Reykjavik, Iceland, The Mansion on O Street in Washington, DC and New York’s Midtown Live, where Vargas shared the stage with Southern gothic rocker, Lincoln Durham. “Second Skin” follows the success of her latest video for “Call Back The Dogs”, which according to ( Folk Radio UK) “…certainly lives up to the standards of two of her personal influences – Nina Simone and Tom Waits.”
The video for “Call Back The Dogs” was featured in a private screening at the Montclair Film Festival, alongside a documentary about Austin City Limits. Vargas’s previous singles, “’If You Love Me” and “Throw the Devil Back,” showcase the singer-songwriter’s ability to explore personal topics and deliver “meaningful lyrics in a raw package.” ( Bored 4 Music ) The singer-songwriter cites a range of influences for her unique sound and (Independent Clauses) insists, “ Vargas delivers… with raspy, soulful, inspired folk full of banjo and danger.”
Learn more about Kate Vargas in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are entering the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for you and your music?
Of course, the recent release of my album, Strangeclaw, is a huge highlight. I’m very fond of everyone involved in the project and I was eager to release the work that we did.
I released two music videos. I’ve never done that before. I also got to perform in the Azores this year. That was a totally new and amazing experience. So I would choose the words expansion, investigation, & revelry.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I wanted to be everything under the sun at some point, but music was always a constant for me. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I remember hearing “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” during my Kindergarten graduation. It gave me chills and I got a bit teary-eyed. I felt very embarrassed by that, but now I know I was just being moved by the music.
Let’s talk about your just released debut full-length album, “Strangeclaw.” Where did the inspiration for this collection come from? How long were you working on it?
We spent a solid year recording this one. But it was relaxed. We recorded when it felt right and doable. I think the result is something pure and genuine. The inspiration is all over the place, from desert fantasies to a dying friend.
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you?
The natural stuff is the music. Everything else I find to be quite unnatural.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you love to work with in the future?
Nina Simone and Tom Waits, always. More recently, I’ve been inspired by Alt-J, Shakey Graves, and Laura Marling. I would love to work with any of them.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
Yoga, podcasts, & twisted documentaries are all key to my peace of mind.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I just hope to create in the truest, most non-judgemental way that I can. It’s like having a conversation with someone. I express myself and listen, express myself and listen…but once the words leave my mouth, they don’t belong to me anymore.