Kathryn Calder Explains the Eclectic Sounds of 'Bright and Vivid,' Premieres New Music Video
Published Sep 29, 2011It's scarcely been a year since Kathryn Calder released her debut solo LP Are You My Mother?, but the New Pornographers member is already gearing up for album No. 2. Entitled Bright and Vivid, it's due out October 25 via File Under: Music.
With its wide range of sounds and styles, this album is a major departure from her stripped-down, frequently mournful debut. But despite the sonic makeover, the Victoria, BC native notes that the new disc was recorded under similar circumstances as its predecessor.
"Bright and Vivid was also made in my living room," Calder tells Exclaim! "The last record was made in my mom's living room, and this record we just travelled one floor up to my living room."
She also did additional touch-ups at Vancouver's Hive Creative Labs, pointing to an extended period of collaboration with her husband and Hive studio whiz Colin Stewart as the reason for eclectic sound of Bright and Vivid. In fact, the pair began working on the album before Are You My Mother? even arrived on shelves.
"When your husband is the producer, it means that we can spend a whole bunch of time doing a whole bunch of weird things to the songs," she says.
This resulted in stylistic forays like feedback-laden "One, Two, Three" and the synth-spiked electro banger "Who Are You?" There's also the dreamy epic "All the Things" and the folksy, delicate "Turn a Light On."
Despite the disc's intricate and unpredictable sound, Calder notes, "I didn't want it to be alienating or anything, for fans of the first record."
Certainly, fans of the intimate Are You My Mother? will connect with Bright and Vivid's grief-ridden lyrics and deeply personal subject matter.
"Whereas the last record was written while my mom was still alive," she says, "this record was written after she had passed away, so there's a lot of processing that happens when something like that happens. So there's still residue from that, and there will be, I'm sure, for years and years. I'll just be writing about that kind of thing."
With the release date less than a month away, Calder is getting ready to promote the album with a short tour of North America's West Coast. This includes a record release show at Vancouver's Biltmore Cabaret on October 27. An East Coast outing with more Canadian dates will follow, but the dates are not yet confirmed.
She has also just unveiled a trippy new music video for "Who Are You?," directed by Jesse Ewles and Cameron Tomsett (who also pitched in on her previous clip, "Slip Away").
"My only real input was that I wanted it to be a dance-y video, because it's kind of a dance-y song," recalls Calder. "I spent a few hours recording footage of me singing along the song with these crazy projections. I basically stared into a projector for four hours."
These clips were then combined with kaleidoscopic colours and footage of dancers in geometric costumes. Scroll past the tour schedule below to see the finished product.
You can pre-order Bright and Vivid here.
10/27 Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
10/28 Portland, OR - Someday Lounge/Backstage Cafe
10/30 Sacramento, CA - Blue Lamp
10/31 San Jose, CA - Pagoda
11/1 San Francisco, CA - Brick and Mortar
11/2 West Hollywood, CA - Roxy Theatre
11/3 Fresno, CA - Fulton 55
11/5 Tempe, AZ - Venue 104
11/6 Albuquerque, NM - Low Spirits
11/7 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
11/8 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
11/9 Nampa, ID - Flying M Coffee
11/12 Seattle, WA - The Mix