Katie Herzig Talks "The Waking Sleep"
Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:10:20
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Katie Herzig might just be from a dream.
Herzig's latest album, The Waking Sleep, soars on the strength of the singer-songwriter's elegantly ethereal vocals and hypnotic pop instrumentation. This chanteuse treads the same mystical ground that made Florence + the Machine so famous, while nodding to good old fashioned soul. In short, The Waking Sleep could very well be the wake-up call modern pop needed…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino, Katie Herzig discusses The Waking Sleep, songwriting, Marie Antoinette, and so much more.
For you, is there a thread tying The Waking Sleep together?
I wrote and recorded the music all in the same year of my life. A lot of times, I'd gone into albums with random songs that I'd written and recorded already. I only had a couple of songs in hand when I went into working on this record though. I think a lot of the reason why it feels like the same piece of work is because I started recording the album as I was still writing the songs. The approach to these songs was fairly similar within the same season of life. I think that helped to give the album cohesion. The last record that I made was more spread out. I didn't really have a plan for what this should sound like though. I was actually thinking it might be more stripped down and mellower record. Once I got in there and the songs started leading the way, I followed that. I really didn't know what it was going to be until I started making it.
Do you aim to tell stories with the songs?
Yeah, for sure! I think that's always a good thing when songs do that. When the songs tend to leave room for interpretation, they give an imprint of what could be happening visually. It's been interesting. I've made three music videos so far. I love interpreting music visually, but it's also a risk you take because everyone's interpretation is subjective to their own mind. It's been really fun to interpret these tracks visually though.
What fosters that visual sensibility?
I guess it's always been something that I felt a connection to. Anytime I'm watching film and the visual and music are connected, I really notice. I also really notice when they're not. That's just my own interpretation. I came from a past of doing more visual art and video stuff in college. Going into this album, I spent time writing songs specifically for films or commercials. I've always really loved doing that. This was less of that and more creating what I felt.
What's the story behind "Daisies and Pews"?
That was a slowly built track. It almost felt like a poem put to music. I started building the track around that first. I had that main simple mantra. I always pictured it closing the album because I wanted the end to go on forever and you could literally fall asleep to it. It has an end eventually. Anytime another song was suggested for the end of the album, I'd say, "Oh, but 'Daisies and Pews' is the end of the album." I always felt really strongly that it should end that way. It's a beautiful ending.
What bands shaped you?
I started getting into music around the age of 16. My first favorite band was Toad the Wet Sprocket. Then I went into a lot of female singer-songwriters. Then, I started getting into bands. Growing up, I always had Enya as my comfort music [Laughs].
If The Waking Sleep were a movie or a combination of movies what would it be?
Let me think here. There's something about it that always felt classical to me like it tapped into something classic. I have this tapestry hanging on my wall of people wearing knickers, drinking tea, wearing corsets and dressing. If it felt right and tapped into that, then I felt good about it. That was my gauge when I was looking at that. I really love the movie Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. I think combining the modern and classic of that movie comes to mind.
Preview songs from The Waking Sleep on Katie's website
Nov 01 S. Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
Nov 02 Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre
Nov 04 Nashville, TN - 12th and Porter
Nov 05 Atlanta, GA - The Five Spot
Nov 09 Knoxville, TN - The Square Room
Nov 10 Louisville, KY - Uncle Slayton's
Nov 11 Charlottesville, VA - The Southern Café and Music Hall
Nov 12 Arlington, VA - IOTA Club & Café
Nov 14 Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Nov 15 Brooklyn, NY - The Rock Shop
Nov 16 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
Nov 17 Ann Arbor, MI - The Blind Pig
Nov 18 Chicago, IL - Schubas
Nov 19 St. Louis, MO - The Old Rock House
Dec 03 Columbia, MO - The Blue Note
Have you heard The Waking Sleep yet?