Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist KATHLEEN has released her first new tracks of 2022, “Fever Dream” and “How Long Will This Last“. The new songs illuminate an elevated sense of exploration in her songwriting, tapping into a rich confluence of influences that spans from John Prine, Leonard Cohen, and Fink to Bjork, Fiona Apple and Kate Bush. Listen to both tracks now below.
“To me ‘Fever Dream’ is an expression of the frustration of lockdown,” she explained of the first song. “In one sense the world around me was so calm—the air was more breathable, everything was still—but then there was also a feeling of being caged in this tiny space with no one around to help you process what was happening.”
In bringing the oddly exhilarating track to life, KATHLEEN joined forces with studio mate Tim Friesen. The pair began experimenting with a cello banjo and effects pedals, creating warped sounds that would capture the right feeling for the finished track. From that point, KATHLEEN brought the song to her frequent collaborator STINT (Jessie Ware, MØ, Role Model) and then to Tim Anderson (who has produced such artists as Banks, Halsey and makes up half of Highland Park Sleep Collective), resulting in a potent fusion of sensibilities that carried the song into its final form. “The whole process was very experimental and high-energy – there was definitely an electric feeling in the room,” she notes.
A far more tranquil counterpart to “Fever Dream,” “How Long Will This Last” took shape during the brief spell KATHLEEN spent living in a riverside cabin in Asheville, North Carolina. (“It was summer and the smoke from the California wildfires was so bad that I had to wear an N95 mask inside my apartment, but I was fortunate enough to escape for a while,” she says.) Produced by KATHLEEN and Tim Anderson and rooted in her elegant piano work, “How Long Will This Last” explores the emotional toll of endless solitude (from the opening lines: “600 square feet all to myself and I am/Lonely as the moon”). “This song is like the dark twin of “Fever Dream”; it’s describing the same feeling, but there’s so much more sadness to it,” she says. “I just remember going for walks around my neighborhood and seeing the birds and quiet plant life and feeling grateful—but then after that you go home and close the door and the outside world is gone.”