SOMETHING FOR KATE
A lot has changed in the six years since Something For Kate released their last album. Not just in the three band members' lives - vocalist and guitarist Paul Dempsey released a solo album and moved to New York for a few years with bassist and wife Stephanie Ashworth, drummer Clint Hyndman opened two bars in Melbourne and all three became parents - but in the music industry itself.
Ashworth says there wasn't the focus on social media last time they put out a record and coming to grips with the immediacy and availability of music thanks to social media and streaming sites has been a challenge, but something the band has embraced.
Paul records covers backstage the night before a show and their tour manager posts them on the internet so they're up while the band is on stage. People who can't make the shows get excited as they feel like they're a part of it, Ashworth says.
While she thinks the internet has changed the music industry for the better, there is one aspect that makes her a little sad. Since Ashworth joined the band 14 years ago, she has been the photographer and designer of the album cover and insert artwork. She thinks it's a shame those who buy digital copies of albums often miss out on these.
"You still get the main part of the record, the songs, but I do think visually that that accompaniment of the image really does refine or further take the feeling and the atmosphere of the song to that next point," she says.
It gives you something to look at so when you listen to the song you feel immersed in what those who wrote it were immersed in, she says.
Ashworth took the photographs that appear on their latest release, 2012's Leave Your Soul to Science, while she and Dempsey were in New York and he wrote most of the lyrics for the album there.
She thinks the change of setting created a more playful tone than their previous works, though she believes the sense of restlessness that comes across in all their records is still there.
But while the tracks remind Ashworth of their time in New York, she says the band is conscious about saying a song can only be interpreted a certain way. Paul doesn't like to impose too much on the lyrics or give absolute meanings because he likes people to interpret them for themselves, she says.
While Ashworth hopes each fan takes away their own meaning from the tracks on Leave Your Soul to Science, she says they have received some common feedback.
"We've had a lot of people respond to Survival Expert and the next single, Miracle Cure, who took those songs and their lyrics quite literally, people who have been going through some physical challenges," she says.
"[It] has been really interesting and really satisfying when a song becomes a strength for people, literally having a helping, healing effect."