In 2012, Kat will release a new song for download each month (that's 12x'12!). The tunes will be mostly acoustic and a little raw for all you fans who hold a soft spot for Kat’s singer-songwriter roots.
January's cold and moody, so we're bringing out "Whistle Falls" for the first of these Twelve Squares. Featuring some soulful vocals from Christine Devlin Eck (Kat’s sister!), the song was recorded in a cozy 150-year-old barn in Northampton, Mass.
In February, Kat's releasing what's likely a new one for most fans, "Boy in 4G." This tune, with lyrics from Shannon Brennan, is all New York: the neighbor one floor up and across the courtyard, staring at himself in the reflection of the light behind him. And staring up at him, you keep seeing yourself, and the figures from your own past. A gorgeous public-private narcissism, accompanied by leafless trees, cold bright moon, whiskey. That’s this tune, recorded in Kat’s kitchen back in Santa Barbara, to the accompaniment of the highway and creaky chairs.
For March, Kat’s birthday month, she recorded “Birthday Song,” with lyrics by Shannon Brennan. You know those coupon book gifts you made as a kid with colored paper and crayons, promising to take out the trash, feed the dog, and be nice to your sister? This song’s one of those. “Free hug.”
In April, we have “Blue Couch," a brand new addition to the Kat Devlin oeuvre, which comes straight from the Minnesota basement of Kat’s heart. This recording features the very talented keys player and vocalist Andrew Kalaidjian. Oh, and that fab photo was taken by the incredible Lauren DeBell.
May's “Unstoppable Force” is a bar song; a boat song; a love song. It is billowing sails set to an organ’s bellows. It’s the kind of tune that holds you close while you sway and sing along. (Do it, sing along … everyone now!). Kat wrote this tune during a two-day streak early this month, and recorded it in a 12-hour intensive and incredible studio session just days ago at Erickson Sound Labs. Kat is joined on “Unstoppable Force” by the talented Stephanie Croff www.stephaniecroff.com/home.html
with soulful harmonies, and multifaceted and amazing Bear Erickson on slide bass, sweet and low vocals, percussion, and pump organ.
"Beefeater Gibson," with lyrics by Shannon Brennan, is the antistrophe (it's OK, I had to look it up, too) to "4 o'clock light," off REM Cycle. Inspired by Frank O'Hara, we're asking this: How do you cope with an all-encompassing love when faced with the enormity of this world and its problems?
July’s Twelve Squares release is all ooh’s and ahh’s. “Be Home Soon” is shorn of every instrument save Kat’s pipes and those of San Diego’s sweethearts, The Lovebirds. It plays with silence, and it soars, too, and we hope you’ll enjoy it!
Featuring Stephanie Chan, "Two Hours" takes Kat right back to her Brooklyn days. It's an oldie, but goodie, that we're excited to introduce to newer fans and bring back to you longtime followers for some musical nostalgia. (And, it was recorded, in part, during the CaliCoast tour!).
Shannon and Kat wrote this song for their friends Jamie and Aaron. It's about love and bravery and shadow puppets. We hope you like it!
October's song is “An Emo Love Song,” and it is just that. It can take quite a lot to break through the barrier of self-indulgence and precious melancholia that can make for great songs and so-so people. This is a number about that break through—how it can happen through the kind of little gestures that reflect big love.
Kat and Shannon wrote "Fireman's Daughter" a while ago, but it's never been recorded…til now! Kat stood under some sublime Redwoods right before arranging this tune, and it shows. Her vocal string section is going to knock your socks off while still warming you right down to your toes. If we do say so ourselves. "Fireman's Daughter" is a rural song, about mansions and rusty porch swings. Frank O'Hara warns about "flattering yourself into thinking that what you're feeling is 'yearning,'" but yearning's kind've what's at stake in this one. Strong longing at the very least. Give it a listen. Tell us what you think.
December's release is “Torch Song,” a duet that features Kat alongside the very talented Shannon Brennan, is a tune about distance and love and friendship and yearning and … well, perhaps just give it a listen.