US singer, songwriter + artist
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My guest today is Katie Callahan, a singer, songwriter and visual artist from Baltimore Maryland, and a mum of 2.
Katie moved to Hawaii when she was 6 and grew up there until finishing her first year of College before her family relocated to mainland USA.
Katie is one of 7 children and comes from a very musical family, she grew up playing and singing in the evangelical church worship band. She plays acoustic guitar and started song writing in high school.
Her music is very lyric based, in the Americana, folk and spirit style, and she processes a lot through her music.
She released her first album of original music in 2019 called Get It Right and her latest release The Water Comes Back from 2021, recorded in Nashville at Gray Matters Studio by Matthew Odmark from the band Jars of Clay, Katie's musical heroes.
Katie has also been writing a song a month with the assistance of her email and social medial followers, with them suggesting the theme for each song.
Katie is also a visual artist, she studied painting at College it was her minor along with Theatre Performance. She paints primarily in oils and does a lot of mixed media work.
Today we compare our song writing styles, explore the difference between expressing ideas with words as compared to painting and discuss being able to ask for what you want.
***This episode contains mentions of pregnancy loss***
If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here.
Katie's music appears in today's episode with permission via my APRA AMCOS Online Mini Licence Agreement.
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!
Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast that's a platform for mothers who are artists and creatives to share the joys and issues they've encountered, while continuing to make art. Regular themes we explore include the day to day juggle, how mother's work is influenced by the children, mum guilt, how mums give themselves time to create within the role of mothering, and the value that mothers and others place on their artistic selves. My name's Alison Newman. I'm a singer, songwriter, and a mom of two boys from regional South Australia. You can find links to my guests and topics we discuss in the show notes. Together with music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our lively and supportive community on Instagram. The art of being a mum acknowledges the Bondic people as the traditional owners of the land, which his podcast is recorded on. Thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate your company. My guest today is Katie Callahan, a singer, songwriter and visual artist from Baltimore, Maryland in the United States, and she's a mom of two. Katie moved to Hawaii when she was six and she grew up there, living there until she finished her first year of college before her family relocated to mainland USA. Katie is one of seven children and comes from a very musical family. She grew up playing and singing in the evangelical church worship band. She plays acoustic guitar and started songwriting in high school. Her music is very lyric based in the Americana Folk and spirit style, and she processes a lot through her music. Katie released her first album of original music in 2019 called Get it right. Her most recent release from 2021 Is the water comes back, which was recorded in Nashville at gray matter studio by Matthew CodeMark. From the band jars of clay, which are Katie's musical heroes. Katie has also been writing a song a month with the assistance of her email and social media followers, with them suggesting a theme for each song. This is a lot of fun. Katie is also a visual artist. She studied painting at college. This was her minor along with theater performance. She paints primarily in oils, and does a lot of mixed media work. Today we compare our songwriting styles explore the difference between expressing ideas with words, as opposed to painting, and we discussed being able to ask for what you want. Today's episode contains discussions of pregnancy loss. If today's episode is triggering for you in any way, I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources online. I've compiled a helpful list of international resources which can be found on my podcast landing page, Alison newman.net/podcast. Katie's music appears throughout today's episode with permission and via my newly acquired APRA M costs online mini License Agreement, which means I can pretty much play whatever I want from now on. But I really hope you enjoyed today's episode we the moms
thank you so much for coming on. Katie, it is so lovely to meet you. And to welcome you to the podcast today. Thank you so
much. I'm so happy to be here.
It's a pleasure to heavy. And like I was saying before, I've been meaning to ask you for so long to come on. Because I've been following you for ages on Instagram. And I really love what you do and your energy and just, you know, everything you do. It's really cool. So thank you for coming on.
Thanks. I'm really I'm really excited to be here. Oh, you know, people don't ask me a lot of questions. I spend a lot of time with small people. They're more instructional, you know?
Oh, yes. It's more of a demand than a question. Yeah. You weren't giving me some food? Yeah. Yeah. So we're about to you in America.
I live in Baltimore, Maryland. So it's like it's just an hour about an hour from DC. Yeah,
I had. I had someone on from Maryland the other day. And I made the mistake of saying Maryland instead of Mary.
I mean, let's be honest. That's that's that's the history that's intended when they named this place. Yep. It was deeply Catholic in the beginning. Surprise.
So are you is Baltimore on the Chesapeake Bay? Is that the either disowned or is it knee?
The it's right, it's right near there. Yeah, so we're on that the harbor but it connects and feeds into the Chesapeake. So we're like if I drive for like 45 minutes, basically here, you're at the Chesapeake and there's a whole network of, you know, cities and things like that down on the Eastern Shore, which I think is where your guest is from. Because I did listen to that one. Yeah. When I saw that she was from Maryland. I was like, No way. What are the odds? You're gonna double dip and Maryland? In the span of a month or so? Yeah.
Like, yeah, not even, like a couple of weeks. That is really cool. That's really cool. done that before. Like, have people from this apartment Australia, obviously, there's a lot of people. I've had a lot of Melbourne people on. But yeah, that's cool. So have you always lived there?
And not always lived here? No, I came for college. But I was I my dad is, was in the American military. He's in the army. He's a pediatrician. And so I was we moved a bunch of places. But then when I was six, we moved to Hawaii. And I lived there through all of my school years through the first year of college. And that summer, then we they sort of relocated to this part of the world and I this is where I've been ever since.
That's a bit of a different climate change going from
one would wonder why one would do that. And I wonder every winter I feel the same way like, oh, no, it's happening again.
So I didn't get pretty cold there. Were you
you know, honestly, I'm complaining it's it's pretty moderate here. It's no it's probably but only in like January February, it stays in like the low 40s High 30s through most of the winter, it's cold for me. I'm cold all the time. But um, but it's really it's really not. We don't get like, you know, not like a further north they get feet of snow and things like we don't, every now and again, that will happen and everyone will panic, but
I'm just gonna live. What? Because we talk in Celsius over here. And I want to find out what 30 and 40 Oh, well, that's four degrees. That's freezing.
That's really validated.
I think he's minus one. Like yeah, no, that's cold. Yeah, like when we we don't get snow like nowhere in Australia that on on normal land. Normally. Not on a mountain. Snow unless we're up high. And like that's cold like out I wind when like today it's you wouldn't be able to tell from what I'm wearing. I've got a massive big turtle neck roll jumper on it's meant to be spring almost summer here. And it's I don't know, maybe 14 And that's cold. Yeah, so like, Yeah, well, hang on. What's that in yours? That won't mean anything to you.
I was just I just average what you said between the two. So I figured it's it's
it's it's 57
I wouldn't be wearing a jumper jumper or Sweater Jacket. I would be I would be cold. I would be cold. That's kind of what today was outside too.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's that transitional getting between between the things I
find it to be this spring time, and impossible.
Give so you are a musician, and also a painter as well. I shouldn't forget that. Let's talk music first. How did you first get into music and playing instruments?
Oh, well, we are I come from a pretty musical family. I am one of seven kids. Somebody at one time was talking to me and they were like so when you weren't cosplaying the Partridge Family, like what were you doing with your life. But that was kind of what our growing up was. We all grew up. My family is pretty religious. And so we all played in like the church worship band. And that's kind of where we all learned how to play instruments and music. And for me singing was my primary thing. When my older brothers went to college, they took with them their accompaniment skills and so I had to learn how to you know, play something to keep me company. So I learned how to play acoustic guitar. And yeah, and then I guess Yeah, that's so we all have played music together for gosh, as long as I can remember. And I just kind of kept doing it. My brothers both still play. And my sisters they'll still saying but less formally. And or just have like releases and I just sort of took the took the ball and ran and kept doing it. Yeah, and I really fell in love with songwriting. When I realized it was like a thing that you could do you know what I mean? I was like, Wait, hold on, like, you can take a whole idea and makeup, like it's brand new thing out of it. And I just, I loved it. And so I started, you know, in high school and, and, and just kind of never, never stopped. Never stopped doing it. With you know, pauses here and there for various reasons. But
yeah. Oh, that's great. So you play. Do you play? Sorry, I've just been distracted by a cat. I can't We can't if it's my cat or someone else's cat. So I'll stop now. Sorry. That was sorry, Katie. So your
mind is up here too. I expected to interrupt.
Like having chats with people's pets when they want to. So you play guitar? Do you play piano as well? Do you play lots of different instruments?
I don't, I'm not a multi instrumentalist. We learned how to play Google Play. And, you know, my whole a public school education. Because you learn to do that along with a recorder. Exactly. So so but that is pretty much the extent of my instrument playing and I really have focused on on voice and on singing. I've had on enough teachers throughout since I was like, 12. But ya know, I've always focused on singing and always felt a little ashamed of that. I suppose a little embarrassed, but that was like, the only thing you know, only thing that I do. But you know, every now and again, it occurs to me that like, I'm really proud of it. I'm really proud of that being my primary instrument and I love it. I really love its relationship to my body and I love Yeah, yeah. So like I you know, I'm I'm in that way I play I play acoustic guitar in a in a medium minus way. And I'm a singer. That's it. That's it, I am.
Now there's no shame in that, because I'm the same. I cannot play. I can play the piano just to bash out chords to work out, like songs in there. But I can't play anything in public, like well enough to play in front of people I just seen. And I shouldn't say just sing because we're not just singers. Because that's pretty awesome. But yeah, that's Yeah, I know. I'm like, Yeah, I think so there.
I mean, like, the freedom to like when you're in front of somebody in a crowd, and like, it's only the singing Oh, my God, the freedom of that. Because like, you know, when you're just like, trying, it's sort of this like grinding out like, I have to get it right. And I have to do the right thing. And the time I'm thinking about is what my you know, like, where my my fingers are in the fretboard and not really, you know, coming into the song The way that I feel like it could be but yeah, that's a that's a total gift. When you get to do that.
It's pretty special. I think. Yeah, that's something people forget is like, singing in itself is, is it? Like you said, it's a whole it's a whole body experience? Oh, my God, it's yeah, you know, and then with your performing, like, the connection, and the emotion and everything, like, it's not literally just a thing coming out your mouth, you know, it's, it's everything
I've just loved, that I've loved. I just recently started lessons again. And with somebody that I studied with, like, eight years ago, when I was like pregnant with my oldest, and this last time I saw him and then you know, seeing him again, it was just it was a wild experience, just the difference of time. But also the reminder of just all the all the parts of your how your voice is really just trying to put you in your body. Like how singing is just really about living in your body feeling what your body needs at any given point. And reminding it that it can I just like I for you just forget, you just forget what it's like to to like to learn that again. And it's been both, like really humbling, because I forgot. Forgot all of it. And, and I've been doing it, you know, I don't want to say I'm doing it wrong. But like there have been so many times where I've struggled where like if I just remembered that would have been so helpful, you know?
Yeah. Now is the series so much that goes into it. And I think that yeah, it's important to say that, that we're not just saying there's so much going on How would you describe your songwriting style?
Songwriting style? Um, I would say, I'm a I'm a folk singer, primarily. I tell a lot of stories with songs, I process a lot of things through song. And so like Americana Folk, that kind of spirit is definitely where I tend to land. Pretty lyric heavy. Like that's really my focus agreement on singer birth. And so what the singers is the most important part for me, we just find it because my my spouse says he was a drummer a long time. And so like, sometimes I'll be listening to a song. And like, not even, I mean, like, oh, I hated that line. He's like, What line? He's listening to everything else at the song. And he's not even thinking about, like, what the song is actually saying.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
What about big differences? But I'd say I'm a folk singer, who writes primarily folk songs, and sort of the way they're produced feels a little bit irrelevant to me. That's the heart of it.
Yeah, yep. And I've listened to your music. Thank you for sharing your music with the world because you have a divine gift and your voice. You've got such a beautiful voice. It's like, I can't even describe it's like, it's would you say you're an alto? You're like, yeah, deeper yet. But yet so rich? Yeah, I really, really like your voice. Yeah. Sorry. Thank you. It doesn't matter what I say about it. It you have a beautiful?
I appreciate it. No, keep saying.
No, yeah. Thank
you. Thank you very much. Thank you. I appreciate it. I appreciate you listening all that I appreciate it. It's great. It's definitely a labor of love. Yeah.
And you also through your Instagram, you share your journey of songwriting each month with a different theme that you put the call out for you, your followers to get involved in. Tell us a bit more about that.
Yeah, oh, my project, this has been, I decided that, at the beginning of this year, I thought to myself, you know, I am one of those artists who could get really caught up in the preciousness of when and how I write a thing or make a thing like, well, I have to have this much time. And these must be the conditions and this must be the place. And I didn't want I didn't want those limitations. I wanted to think about songwriting. You know, in addition to the those magic moments, which I believe are very true and real. In addition to those magic moments, I wanted to be able to work at songwriting, like like a craft, like how is what is the practice of writing a song. And I don't know why I did this. But I asked everyone on Instagram to give me their suggestions. For what what would be good song topics. And some people took it seriously, and gave me very serious topics. And some people wrote like spaghetti and stuff like that. So we'll see when I put them I put that every year I put them on this little box and I shake it up every month and I pick one out and I yeah, I build a song around it at the top of every month and I'm I'm to be honest, like a very terrible at the production part of the recording part. Isn't that making If so, but I made it like I want to be able to put out these demos. They're just demos I can I release perfectionism enough to release these very imperfect versions of songs that maybe aren't all the way work through or, you know, maybe weren't my idea, can I can I release these things in in both the spirit of like, good fun, but also honesty and sort of a vulnerability in them. But it's been like a very challenging practice, but also like a really, I don't know, like an interesting sort of study, you know? Because we've had some weird ones.
What, what do you reckon is the weirdest one that you've had?
111 once was unicorns and glitter. That was a weird one. I didn't know how we were gonna get around that one. We had dating apps that was I remember that was I've never done any of that. But the people feeling like the, like the gift of people sharing their experiences for that one was like, like flooring, like, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. This is what your life is right now. That was really good on I don't know what else we had. We've had What if today was your last day? That was really intense. We've had But the most interesting thing is sort of like taking the idea that I can see like, I can sort of, like feel where the person was coming from, like, the very first month was ease, you know, and so like, the idea is coming to this with like a spirit of like, I'm not going to force this, I'm not going to stress about it. And then realizing sort of just like sizing out, like, what is this? What does this actually feel like? And how does it work within me? So like, with ease, like others, and nothing, there is not an easy boat. I'm gonna overthink this so hard. So like with, like, how to lean into both, but like the reality of my experience while dealing with these, you know, themes that maybe I would not have picked voluntarily has been I don't know, it's really interesting. It's really interesting and fun, and I'm not gonna do it again. I'm not gonna lie, but um talking to Mormons, but it has been a really good exercise, I think. Yeah, like,
honestly, I think it's incredibly challenging. To do that, to say, I'm gonna write a song about a thing that means absolutely nothing to me, like that you can't resonate with that you can't draw on experience, because I'm the same as you. When I write, it's got to be something that I feel and it's got to be something that's, you know, I've experienced or I can relate to, I find it. I mean, I have written a few songs for like, electronic dance music, where it's, it's literally just lyrics because I imagined myself on the dance floor, and it's all very frivolous. And it doesn't, it's not the time for big, deep and meaningful, you know, my real proper writing. Yeah, it's got to have some depth, it's got to have some, some background to it. It can't just be blah, blah, blah. So yeah, that would be really hard to do so good for you for challenging yourself in that way.
Again, I'm not sure it was wise. But it has I you know, what I did get, I got a song out of it for a new project I'm recording and so you know, if all else goes to pot, at least I have that. And I, you know, that makes me feel proud that like, oh, I can work sort of in a pressured situation and create something that I'm proud of. And yeah, no,
I think the pressure like that time constraint on yourself, too. Yeah. I feel very uncomfortable with with pressure.
I deliberately put pressure on myself is yeah, I'm not gonna do it again.
It's been great. Well, it's lasted but yeah, not not returning to that.
Way is the sign of the seed. He is why is this If so and says it should find his or Wayne Blasi, be this spring time, and even positive.
Now, I want to mention to you it's been 12 months since you released your album, which is called the water comes back. Yeah. So you share that share with us about the experience? Where did you record
that album? Yeah, the water comes back is it's the second full length album I've done and it is, you know, it was such a crazy, it was a crazy thing I grew up, like I said, it's sort of playing church music and in the church, and my favorite, you know, my favorite bands are all Christian bands and things like that. And one of them was called jars of clay. And they, you know, there were bands that I really was very, they felt like to me, I don't know how to say it, they didn't ever shy away from all the big feelings. And a lot of Christian music does a lot of you know, whatever, Christian quote unquote Christian music does not deal with hard or difficult things. And they have felt like there was a lot of permission in their music and in their songwriting style because it wasn't particularly genre, you know, sort of, and I just and they're very lyric heavy and told a lot of stories, and I always loved them, even as I moved out of out of church music and out of that world. I've always really appreciated them and after, you know, a project in a friend's basement over three, you know, over three years kind of a thing, like just trying to get myself going again, because it's been a really long time. Since I've been anything like that. I dropped them online at their info at you know, their website, email address, just being like, hey, hey, thanks for everything you've done for me. And, you know, a little bit of shade where like, I just did this project and you know, I wouldn't have ever written songs have not been for you guys bah bah bah lovey laughs and to my violent amazement, they responded, I got a response from Charlie who played the keyboard in the band. And, you know, in passing was like, you know, if you ever want to record let let us know. And about two months later, I realized I had sort of a stash of songs. And I wrote back, I was like, a thriller. Oh, he put me in Matthew, Mark, and he, he now runs a studio that they all own together, so. So they have a studio, it's in Nashville, and they recorded in it for the last few albums. And while they've all sort of, like, they only come together once a year to do like this Christmas concert, that's a benefit from a charity that they created, called Blood water mission. They don't you know, in the meantime, they use this space to do you know, production for people like me, you know, for local artists and strangers from Baltimore, who happened to send emails. But what was nuts about it was like, I emailed them, it had to be, it was like, you know, January, maybe February of 2020. And so we had our initial conversations, and then our world shut down over here, you know, all the way and so not only then were these wonderful people willing to chat with me about doing this future project. They also then we did like, Zoom co writes with Matthew and Mark and Heseltine, who is the one of the singers from from Jaws of Life in the band. And a guy named Luke Johnson who, who's in a different band at anyway, so I was able to do these things that just like were unfathomable to me over zoom in, you know, like, while the world is all the way shut down, and, and I got to go, I flew down there in January 2021. You know, everybody very scared of everything and masked and all that stuff. And but we were able to record the whole thing in a in sort of a, a whirlwind two weeks, yet. Yeah. And it was, it was wild. It was amazing. It was, you know, tense, but it was, it was really wonderful. And I'm so I'm just so grateful. So grateful.
That is an awesome story. I love that. It's like, did you when you were writing to them? Did you think oh, I shouldn't be doing this? You know, where there?
Was there any doubt that you were going to write that initial email? And then 100% I probably wrote it and rewrote it, you know, like, 60 times, and then I spent the next whatever how many days being like, why would you ever send that email to those people? That was so ridiculous. You know, and you think everything you do is so ridiculous until there's some evidence that like, No, it wasn't. Actually it was fine. Yeah, 100% definitely retraced this, this little digital steps a lot, a lot of times.
That is just such a wonderful story. I
Yeah. Good Anya. And there's some lovely photos, I'm guessing that some of the photos you've sent me from that recording session.
The actually that's from the recording session I just did in August. So I went back down and work with them again, I work with them again, for a new project that'll come probably April of this coming year. So we're just sort of at the on the cusp, you know, that big wave that comes where you're about to do like all the publicity and all that stuff and all the prep that goes into it. So I'm sort of like a about to be in the deep end but I'm not quite there. But yeah, I recorded a new project down there which was a lot more relaxed a little less COVID II and less less for that and just a real yeah a real delight to be back down and and there's something about building relationships with people that way and the trust that you have that that makes you know, rounds two and three and four or whatever so much so much more I don't know life giving you doubt yourself so much less Yeah, and yeah, and there's just there's so much to gain from I think for me anyway for building those relationships over time.
Hmm No well done. It sounds like yeah, it's gonna be a lasting sort of connection that you've created that's really exciting.
For sure, yeah. Yeah, love it
there's no way to shame is refusing.
Want to talk about your art as well that you're a painter Yeah, tell us all about that.
Oh, man, that's a harder one to get into. You know, that is one of the ones that I studied painting in school in college. It was my minor, along with theater performance. But a funny degree I have, but it is, it's something I certainly love. And I paint primarily in oils. I do a lot of mixed media work, and things like that. Yeah, it's definitely one of those things that's fallen to the wayside a lot more, especially as I've been, especially, I guess, in this phase of my life, as in this motherhood phase. It is. It's, you know, it's messy, and it takes up time and space in ways that other art forms don't. Yeah. Man, this is, this is like, it's like, it's just, it's so it's not effortless. That's not what I'm trying to say. But it comes. So naturally, it's, it's so much like, you know, like an inhale and exhale. And it's just like, I love it so much. I love it so much. And that was when I was like, oh, man, this is this, I missed this, you know, I really miss this and the ideas that move differently, you know, in paint than they do with words or, or even with music, you know? And, yeah, yeah, I love it.
Yeah, it's interesting. Because I've, recently, because of this podcast, and the people I've met, I've sort of gotten into trying painting, which, and I really enjoy it, and I just mess around, there's no structure with mine. And it is so different, isn't it, like, the way that you can express yourself? And an artist said to me, they can't imagine writing music or, you know, things with words. And I, I've struggle with the other side of it to get my point across without words. So it's like, you know, what, I mean? Like, how do you sit down? Sort of expression of your creativity?
Oh, that's such a good question. I think, I think that I don't know, I'm trying to think now at the I was much better as a student at, at being willing to let the image be the message. And whatever somebody got from it, Soviet or like, you know, the the brevity of the title, letting that be the whole message, or like, the spark that made somebody curious about something else that made them maybe look twice at an image where they would not have looked twice before. Yeah, and like, you know, I've I, in my, one way that I've gotten back into visual art, in the last few years is doing these little, these little haiku squares, or four by four squares that I, you know, sort of abstractly paint and then sort of build on with whatever I have around, you know, the, the glue or varnish or like little things that I just have sitting around, and I write a haiku, you know, a 575. And I'll build sort of the image around around that. And I have these little tiny, these little tiny, you know, squares that I have that have, it's like art, but it's also words, and I wonder now just just like listening to that, I wonder if that is, like an element of me not willing to let the image be itself anymore. Because I mean, so far to songwriting, though, like, like, I can't, maybe I don't trust, you know, that the image is enough. Yeah. Or trust the view, even the consumer to take, you know, to take what they will take and, you know, and if it's different than I intend, so be it, you know, that's a Yeah, it's a real exercise. Interesting. That's, that's a really interesting idea that I hadn't even considered before.
Yeah, cuz my son, my little boy, who's seven, he asked me, we had this conversation about how can you tell what the painting is about? And I said, it's really up to the person looking at it to work out how they want to interpret it. And then I thought to myself, that's sort of, I mean, that's fine. But then, are they missing the point? Are they missing what the artist wants them to say? Or is that okay, is that part of the whole thing? You know, what I mean, like, and I know, even in songwriting, unless you're extremely explicit with your Lyric like this, this this, this is like, it's no other way you could, you know, understand. You think there's songs that have been written about really different things to what they come across. So it's happening everywhere all the time.
Exactly. Right. Right. And to some extent, there are lots of artists that prefer that right. Like there are lots of artists who are like, please don't understand exactly what I'm saying. Yeah, Please be misled. Like that's like, this is a silly example. But that song, you know, closing time closing time then the song is about his his kids being born. Not about a bar closing, you know, even though so so it's like a. It's like I'm gonna write this. I know you're gonna I know you're not gonna get exactly what I'm saying. That's gonna Delight me. That's part of the thing. By it. Yeah, exactly. Right. I'm definitely somebody who wants to be understood. I'm not sure. Are you familiar with the Enneagram? I don't know how big the Enneagram is over there. But I
am not but I might not. It might be bigger than what I think it is. Because I don't know everything. You know what I mean? How do you spell it?
E N N? D A gra M, I think and the growl? Yes.
Yep. Oh, yeah. You mean? Yes.
Yeah. Yeah. So they're, you know, they're different types. And every type has a distinct like, desire and a distinct fear and whatever. And like the the large picture is, like, everybody's a little bit of everything. But everybody also has like, their own distinct little number. And like this is, for me, it's just it's been useful map specifically relationally just trying to like get a lot of empathy both for myself and others. But but my type is, is always wants to be understood, longs to be understood, but also wants to be very elusive. So it's exactly the tension that you're talking about. Like, it's like, I want you to get it but don't get it. Done. Tom looks so close, but pleased
that he's challenged that one isn't that
smelly? I mean, it sounds silly. But it but it is it's like it's like, I don't want to be obvious, but also please understand exactly what I'm saying. And if you don't, I'll be devastated for weeks. That's fine. I'm
gonna do that I've never done like, I did, like, you know, the personality, like whether you're high or a J or I don't know. So yeah, that's Myers Briggs. Yeah, that's the one. Yeah, but this one, I'm gonna have a crack at that one. That's really, I must say, I like I want this. I think this is why I struggle with just straight out visual art because I want people to understand what I'm saying. Because it's like, why would I do this is me, why would I do it? Unless my point comes across? I don't know that. That's that's just me. I have a very my sisters listening to this. She'll agree I have a very intense need to control things. The way I want them to read? Yeah, yeah, I'm getting better as I get older, to let go of control. And perfectionism, but it's
truly work. It's truly work. It's truly work. And, and it takes a like, you know, perfectionism sounds cute, you know, you can be like, a perfectionist, but it's really deeply damaging. And, and, and it can really lead to a lot of self judgment and others judgment and it you know, it doesn't really serve it doesn't really serve and like I you know, I don't think I even realized that I was a very grown up person, like, Oh, this is actually not a compliment. No, this is actually hindering you quite a bit in your journey. So, yeah, yeah, I think age probably has a lot to do with that like
aging perspective. And it's like that yeah, the best way I can describe my self is in this little anecdote from when I was five and I was singing at our school concert and the teacher was holding the microphone for me and I took a put my hand on it and moved it closer because she wasn't holding it in the right spot. And that's I sort of say that so you need to
know and that same conclusion Oh, I love that so much. That's a great my five year old up here with someone take my well on that
segues beautifully into your children, can you share how many children you have? You don't have seven days?
Oh my God, no, no one should have seven now. Anybody who wants me to that seven, that's fine. A lot of personnel Ladies I have two I just have two kids, two daughters one is going to be nine and the other is five, five and a half.
Yeah, that's nice.
Yeah, they're really fun, really precocious, super smart. Much more confident than I ever was certainly teach me things every day. are, you know, they are deeply Creative Kids, which is really fun for me to bear witness to because they're creative in different ways. And louder than I wish I was a kid. So, so it's like, they're creative. And also, like, demonstrative ly. So versus like, I was always a little bit ashamed. You know, for most of my life just kind of hid. I literally turned our closet. We had like a closet, where we would like would dump our backpacks at the end of the day. And I it was not big and I like that. I don't remember how it happened but there was a desk in it and I just like adapted that was like my little space
do my little thing you know?
Katie in a closet that's good. And that's what I was like at the chats all you need to know
Oh, that's hilarious. I can just visualize that this little person sitting in the closet. Oh, man. Oh, so your girl sat in classes? They're they're doing their thing out in the world.
Yeah, yeah, definitely doing their thing out in the world. And I love that honestly, they are real teachers for me. Um, and you know, and that showing me things that I I don't want to teach them you know, they're doing things that I wish I had learned as a kid versus like doing something that I you know should undo or you know, controlling them which is really a gift and when I can actually gain the perspective to see that it really is a gift for sure.
Yeah, it's interesting like my is that your cat? Did your cat is you okay
all right, yeah. I suppose
it is a tight end I can't let my cats in here because they both got bills on their collars. So
one day I was in here recording like actually properly recording vocals and I didn't realize the cat was in here next minutes again was a really good time.
Oh, the nerve. I know you know I so I record this is my this is the third floor of our house. But it's like a you know, it was an attic. So it's you know to go. Yeah, let's shape it's not insulated. And so I have like a little recording like area but it's not it's not particularly sound proofed at all. And his little cat areas back behind it and so almost every single time I'm like doing a quick recording he's like is lit right now. Why? No? Every time
you take scratch scratch scratch scratch was like yesterday I was recording a podcast How about seven in the morning? I don't usually do them that early but it's the time it was a Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. And the wall that is right in front of like literally this far in front of where I'm sitting next on to our ensuite so my husband's in there having a shower and the fans on and then I never knew started squealing and I'm just like oh my god I'm trying to smile and just think this did not come through I didn't I don't know how it didn't it was
a miracle sound engineering was amazing.
Maybe this will stick and then I give it credit for I don't know
it's like a one way sound only you can hear it to feel sensitive about it. Nobody else can hear
but one like my window to my neighbor's is right here and every now and then the next door neighbor's dog will start up and he's actually if you listen really closely in because I just use the same introduction each time you can hear him man I'm getting I'm getting so many So, in terms of being a mum and having your daughters, how did that sort of fit in amongst your use of music? Were you able to you were recording or doing things or writing, you know, as they were children, babies, you know, that kind of stuff?
That's it? Yeah, that's a great question. I, I always a little bit, I'm a little bit embarrassed when this question comes up, getting lost with it. I, so my life is, I mean, though, the rhythm of my life ended up being a little bit unorthodox, in that I was married very young, and divorced, very young. And, and then sort of married younger, to a much older, and in the course of that period of life, I think I just sort of fell, folded myself into a shape that fit the life he already had. So, you know, I moved into his home, and all my paintings, you know, I shoved them into closets, and I, you know, I kind of like tried to make my stuff as an invasive as possible, you know, and then I got pregnant within, you know, a month or two of us being married. And so not only was I newlywed in this new sort of life, I also had a baby. So suddenly, like, I felt like an invader, like, like, even the presence of my daughter, like, I had to be almost apologetic about everything about the way that we were changing my husband's life, from the sound in the house, you know, to, like, I was exclusively feeding her to, you know, like, I didn't, I didn't want to push any thing, or be too much, or take up too much space in anybody's world. And that, you know, then I, we had our second daughter three and a half years later, and, you know, it's kind of more of the same, it was a little bit, I'd say, a little bit more comfortable. And the idea that, like, we lived in this house, and it should look, it should look like it, we should be comfortable, existing, you know, in our space with our things, and babies are messy and loud and disruptive, and like, this is what I how I should embrace this all. But like, you know, throughout, throughout all of that I was I was playing music, in my, in the church setting. And, and that was about it, you know, I have had a few songs sort of that I written very periodically, over, I don't know, probably like 12 years. Before I really was like, I'm going to I'm going to record these I'm going to record the songs. And it was actually a friend from the church setting. Several of them that ended up helping me do that. But instrumentalists and also a producer. But, you know, all of that work is really, for the most part internal, and it's not super disruptive to a larger or larger home narrative. And I yeah, I think, um, you know, when I even when I left the church, which was sort of like a big deal, for me, that's a big, you know, it's a it's something that I had my whole life, and I was sort of trying, like, coming awake to things that I'd never really considered and, you know, ways in which I had been, that all these behaviors of hiding and of fitting a mold had been informed, you know, by that sort of education, spoken or unspoken from that environment. And, but all that work, again, was internal. So I think honestly, like, I'm, I don't think I would have tried again, I don't think that I would have started recording that first project, which again, was like 12 years of songs that recorded over three long years, you know, tediously, in someone's basement, I don't think that I would have even tried to do that had I not had my daughter's because through them was how I began to see and understand there was a self worth pursuing and saving. Not that I live for my daughters, but rather my daughters deserve to see me live. You know, and so that they can, they can do the same for themselves. Because the last thing I would want for these exuberant, you know, bright lights is for them to think that they should be folding themselves in any particular way, other than the way that they that they, you know, that they want to be. So, yeah, so that that's a very long winded way of saying I think I'm learning a lot even right now.
That's pretty powerful. Isn't it like that you? You were so aware of the way you were living? The reflection that would have have on them? Like, that's massive. You know, a lot of people wouldn't even have that, you know? What's the word like a self actualization of actually, you know? That makes sense. Yeah. Massive. Its massive.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's an interesting, especially lately, a lot of this new music that I'm working with has a lot to do with. Like, the things that I, that I never learned how to do. And one of those things I've realized is is like to want, like, how to want and express want and desire and how to you know how to do that without and take that space up and be like, Yeah, I want to do that. I don't really particularly care if you don't want to do that, like I do, you know, how to, you know, how, what does that mean? You know, how can I differentiate my identity from the fact that maybe it doesn't agree with everybody else's want? And, you know, and like seeing in my oldest, like, say, I don't know, you choose? I don't know, you choose or, and like already seeing evidence that like there is there may be as evidence of, of, of my lack of ability to express one and teach one to them. So that like, you know, that sets a fire and you're like, Oh, God, I don't want that. Yeah, I don't want that for you. You know, I want to know exactly what you want. Even if you think it's gonna make me uncomfortable. I want to know exactly what you want. You know,
that series? Yeah. And it's interesting. I had a conversation this morning, I recorded a podcast, we're talking a lot about people pleasing. And it's like, you feel like you have to say yes to everything, because you're going to offend someone. And that just reminded me, it's like, you're allowed to speak your mind, even if the other person is not gonna agree with you or not going to come along with that or whatever. You don't have to be worried about offending people.
Right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because even if you do it, chances are it's, it's probably their problem. Yes, that'll be their thing to sort out.
Yeah. And that was exactly what we said, too. It's like, it's, I think we get so caught up in that the response we get from someone, we think that it's all about us, just because it's directed at us. But really, it probably has nothing to do with us at all. But we're also egocentric beings that we think it's funny.
Way to go listening to the art of being a mom, with my mom, I will send you money.
While we're talking about the church, I want to mention if this is right to go there that you made an awesome post on your Instagram today. Rather than may describe would you like to take take the listeners to this and where it came from? And I guess the points you were making in it. So it's very intriguing.
Yeah, that's funny. Yeah, I so I have a I have a song. It's called witches. It's on the water comes back. And in it, the whole point of the song, basically, I went on this retreat in Ojai with two really amazing women leaders, once named Lisa Ganga, she's a musician as well. And the other is Dr. Hillary McBride. And she's a psychologist, and she's an author. And she writes a lot about embodiment. And that sort of is what that whole retreat was about, like the retreat was about sort of, like unifying, you know, our insides and outsides, which sort of culturally we've been taught to separate. And so I went on this retreat actually went twice. And I met this, like, sort of incredible group of women, and you just are like, you know, feminine identifying folks. And what you what I took away from that was just sort of like how all of us, all of us there would probably on some level, you know, have been burned at the stake. If we were born $500 Earlier, foreign did nothing. But yeah, so So I wanted to write a song that sort of emphasized the sort of the plight of just being sort of anybody who existed outside of a hetero patriarchal norm, and in a reclamation kind of way. So that's what that song is about. And the second verse is about is about Eve. And the lines are, it's Eve, basically the premises if if, you know, the prevailing narrative is that Eve ruined Adam. But what if the real fault of Eve was not that she, you know, gave him the fruit to eat? but that she kept him from doing the work of finding the fruit himself.
And that's really her curse. Now, it's just assumed that we're just going to always do the work
as women, you know, or whatever. So anyway, in the post, I had a, there was a print of, of Eve and the snake and I recreated it with a T shirt, and I drew boobs on a t shirt, and then I had an apple and a little stuffed snake and I basically yeah, just sort of parodying the, you know, the whole the whole visual narrative of that story.
I love that take on it. I love that because the thing I've always struggled with, like I went to, I was baptized Presbyterian, but I went to a Catholic school, because it was just the nearest one to our house, really. I always thought, Well, Adam had to eat that apple. She didn't force it down his throat. Like that's the thing. I always just kept thinking, but why I don't get this like, yeah, I don't know, I just really frustrated me. So I'm having my little fella who's seven. Digby. He's starting to ask questions about religion. And they were teaching them about, like Easter, he wanted to understand about, you know, the Easter story. And um, yeah, oh, here we go. Like, I always just say to him, Look, some people believe this. Other people believe that, like, it's up to you to decide what you want to believe in. And I'm not like, I don't eat meat. And I don't force that on anyone else. My family like religion, I'm not going to force that on anyone else. My politics, my politics, I do kind of, I don't want to say I force it on them, but I make them understand things. That, you know, it's up to everyone to decide what they want to do. And then I think that respect to allow people to make the choices either way, you know, to be to live in a society that we can allow, you know, differences and not allow that to divide us. So violently, I guess,
it goes back to what we were saying about the wanting like, can I say what I want and be interested both in like my own sense of self and the other person's sense of self that like, I can separate those two things that what and separate myself from my ego, like, No, I am not the center of the universe, it does not, you know, my center doesn't have to be their center and and is still valid, even if it's only mine. And that's such a that's such a hard thing. Yeah, to learn. And it's so great that you're telling your kids that now you know what I mean? All the things they don't have to unlearn later. It's really
important to a lot and I mean, I'm sure there's gonna be something there. So I'm sure probably politics, but but on politics, but I do want to make sure you've got your midterm elections coming up shortly. And I love the posts that you're sharing around that there was the the advertisement where the little girl, she's 11 or 12. And she comes up to the counter and says, Oh, I've heard you've got babies for adoption. And the lady says, Oh, you're too young to adopt. And she's like, but I'm old enough to have a baby. And it's like, this the ludicrous see, like, I I'm, I don't know, I find it really. I feel very compassionate. I feel a lot of love for you guys over there. What? What is going on? Feel for women over there particularly? Just got it makes me so cross? Yeah. And I can't imagine won't be like living living that. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, you know, I am in an incredibly privileged position in that, like, that is not a choice at this point in my life that I'd have to make, you know, I, but, you know, I, I'll tell you, when I, when I lost a pregnancy was probably the most affirming experience of choice I've ever had, you know, because you realize how much you do want something. And, and, you know, and then if I want something this much, what's the equal and opposite, you know, the opposite might be somebody really doesn't and shouldn't have to, shouldn't have to, and shouldn't be able to make a choice, a choice for themselves and, you know, in our, in our culture is so rot and so racially fraught, and, and so much of our politics have to do with, with with class and with with money and who has it and who doesn't, and, and that, you know, this is just another example of how the people with the least who have been sort of forced to have the least over the course of our of our country's history are going to suffer the most again, you know, and this is just another example. Yeah, it's a really that's really tough and, you know, I live in a state that's primarily choice leaning, and sort of is almost never at risk for not not being that way. So again, that's an incredible privilege I have, you know, like, I don't really have to worry about my immediate surroundings and friends here, but there, there are plenty of other places not very far away that don't have that.
Yeah, it's just I just, I find it really unfathomable, like, and I'm not throwing shade on America at all. I'm just saying it's like, it just seems to me like such a basic, right. I don't know, it just makes me so mad. And it's perpetuated by white men, you know, like this thing have been? I feel like we've gone from you know, Adam, Wyoming to another. It's just it's. And I don't know, it just makes me so mad. And anyway, if you're in America, and you can vote, go vote and make your vote count, please. Yeah, please.
Now it's time to register like now that the registration is going to start closing. So
yeah. So when is it? When's the actual day? Like, when can you do go on one day and vote over there? Is that what
you can I just got my early ballot, if I wanted to use that I could send it in. I just got it this week. So I could send that in starting I think now and then it might be next week. I think it's the two weeks preceding because November. I want to say that A is that right? Yep. The eighth is our election day. Yeah. Rados is usually the first Tuesday. That's what it is this year. Yeah, a lot of you know, a lot of important motions on a lot of ballots. It's midterms, and so people don't vote as much. So if you're, you know, if you're American, please, please vote in this midterm election. It's really important.
And you guys you like over here we have to vote like it's the law to vote. No.
Yeah. Which has its own sort of ups and downs on either side. Yeah, but over there, you get to choose if you vote, which has its own ups and downs as well.
Yeah. I mean, it's, it's so complicated, isn't it by like people being limited by whether or not they can vote with our felony laws and things like that. And also just like, just a fundamental discrimination, like ID laws, and there's all sorts there's all sorts, like, keep people from voting here too. So it's almost like people are afraid. Well, that's the reason for everything. Isn't it? Like the fear? Yeah. Yeah, that people vote really then. Where does power go? And the powers and the people that were supposed to be?
Yeah, it's gonna be interesting to watch. So all the best I'll be looking out for you guys. I'm sorry, that sounded very flippant, ya
know, that we will.
Back to you as as a mother, you've talked about how your choices that you made how you're going to live your life, were really influenced by your children, do you find that your, your writing your music is heavily influenced by your children
is think I don't particularly separate my identities out anymore? I think that I, you know, I struggled with this on my, my elbow and the water comes back because I felt like, you know, I have a song that is about that, that miscarriage experience. And I remember being like, I don't want people to dismiss this song. Because it's about you know, like, a woman's issue, or whatever. Because in my mind, it's not a woman's issue, you know, like, it's, that's just like, that's a consequence of being a person, you know, and I didn't make that baby myself. You know, I didn't do that alone. It's not just my it's not just my issue to deal with. And and, yeah, so I felt like a little bit of like a conflict, you know, in that, like, I'm gonna write about who I am and who I am includes being a woman and includes being a mother and includes like, acknowledging that I have those roles. And I'm not gonna like pretend like I don't because they're really important parts of my life. They dominate most of my time, you know? But those I feel like a lot of women have to pretend like it's not the case like when they're writing and and like maybe that's a choice. Maybe, maybe, you know, maybe, you know, either other songwriters are like, this is my way of reclaiming, you know, Have an individual identity as to right, Mr. Not right about them. Not like them. But because my, my, the way that I write and what I write about is so immediate, and often very responsive to where I am in my, you know, environment and circumstance, then they show up, they keep showing up those girls. And maybe not like overtly like, this is the song about my daughter. Because only country singers can get away with that, but but, ya know, they definitely show up. And again, I don't I don't think that I would write honestly, in a lot of ways and in the same ways had they have they? Had they not been a part of my life, even when the songs are not about them overtly. presence has informed, you know, that the song exists. Yeah, for me.
Yeah, that makes sense. Makes sense? Yeah, absolutely. That makes sense. Because you literally, you are a different person. Like, to the person that didn't have children? Yeah, yeah, for better or for worse. Yeah. So talking about their identity. When you became a mum? Did you have like a big profound shift that maybe you were losing a part of yourself? Or was it all like a positive? I'm gaining this part? Like, how did you sort of go through that experience?
I heard, it's such a funny part of my life. It's such a funny part of life. Because I think that because of the way that my life had shifted so dramatically, and that small window of time, my husband and I almost didn't date, even, like, we just like loops are married. And so my daughter came so soon after, you know, I, so he was the mayor of, so he was my, he was my boss, I worked in a wine shop, and he was my boss. And so we got married, and obviously, I stopped working immediately. And my thought was, like, Oh, I'm gonna find a job, whatever. And then I got pregnant. And I was like, No, hire me. I believe, again. So I stayed home for those nine months, and I was pregnant. And I felt a little wayward for sure. Like, what am I doing? And I felt a lot of shame. Like, I have to be better busy myself with a lot of little projects, you know? So that it looks like I'm doing some things that nobody can look at me and say that I'm not basically, I was unaccustomed to not doing and so I decided, you know, so like, I wrote for a little column, a little wine column and a little, a little flat like website, and I, you know, made a lot of art. And I didn't nursing didn't think. But, you know, I think I was so relieved to have as big a project as a newborn. Yeah. Because, yeah, because when you have that, nobody can look at you and say, You're not doing enough. You know, you have a kid, and a little small person. And, and I adopted the most of the work. I think now looking back, probably because I could then be like, Look at look at it. And I'm going to be the best, you know, housewife, and I'm also going to have this newborn strapped to me as I do it, and what are you going to do, then? You know, you gotta tell me now I'm not doing enough and yeah, so I think it wasn't that motherhood made my identity. I you know, I hear a lot of women say this, that their identity felt challenged or taken from them by motherhood, I think that I adopted a whole persona role. So that I, so that I could basically like prove that I had value that there was worth in me via though those roles, you know, in that, and so simplistically, you know, but I do think that that is absolutely something that happened when I became a mom. Definitely, definitely. And it wasn't until, I don't know, I think having them I just, I just think it sort of reminded me that I am a creative being, who cannot not create and and that in order to do so, in order to encourage them to be creative beings, like I had to be willing to sort of lean into that part of who I was. And yeah, and imperfectly very imperfectly to the point where like, even now like now, now was when I'm like, Oh man, I'm being a bad mom right now because I am you know, I'm leaning very hard into this one direction or being very annoyed at them for not allowing me to this moment or whatever. Yeah, but yeah, that's again very long winded way of saying like, yes, motherhood changed, changed my identity. But I think I think in this case it is sort of was like I took it on as like a persona. And almost like an attempt to shape and identity before I really realized that, like, there was one already there that was worth pursuing. Yeah.
Was that something knees sort of realized after the fact? Or you were of it at the time, do you think?
I think I think it was, I think it was after the fact. I think in the moment, I was really desperate to prove how good I was, um, and how much I could contribute to this life that already existed, you know, with my, my, my, my husband's life, and, you know, this, like, big life that already existed that I sort of married into, and yeah, I think I think it took a long time for me to realize like, Oh, I didn't, I didn't feel willing to try. For a long time, I didn't feel willing to, like, lean back into me, like the identity of me, like who I am as a person, outside of, you know, this, this, this this life, and how that could be a contributing beneficial positive force as well. Hmm.
Yeah. Yep. That's very powerful thing, isn't it? That's, like, really profound. Yeah.
Yeah, it's a really interesting thing to be in the middle of, and I know you're catching me at like, such a weird moment in my, like, creative process and journey and stuff with this with this new project, because these new songs are all about. They're all about that they feel like they're holding me accountable. You know, they feel like they're demanding something of me that I never really walked all the way into. And I feel like in order to be like an honest person and honest artist, I have to do all this work, you know, to, in my own identity, and you know, shifting, challenging what I have told myself the story was my story here in this life and allowing the discomfort of, you know, having once and you know, making something uncomfortable for somebody else, maybe you're not fitting into their timeline or you know, all those things. Even you know, given the small little things, yeah, are stuff that I have to like work out now. On a day to day basis being like, this is uncomfortable. Also, it's good.
To go through that to that yuckiness to get out the other side and have achieved something I suppose I've gotten through that. Yeah, a little bit. Yeah.
And like right now, it's like, I don't know. Well, we get well, I get through it. I mean, I hope so. I hoped it's much easier to be fine all the time. You know, it's much easier to be like, I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. But like, what if I'm not and what if I like? Acknowledge it? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. What comes from that? You know?
Yes. To take up that space and go actually no. So now what are you going to do? No, I'm not going to do that actually. Yeah, good on you. Be
with you the subject or the concept of mum guilt is something that I enjoy talking to my guests about, and not because I like to say, hey, tell me all about your guilt. It's like, I just find it such a fascinating topic. And I love that I've had some guests on that have had to google it because they don't even know what it is. You know, it's a it's one of these things that everyone feels differently or doesn't feel at all, which is awesome. What's your take on the whole subject?
Matter Okay, out? Well, I will it is 100% real and I don't know if that's again, because of my evangelical upbringing. Guilt just comes net. Feeling guilty about it. Everything as recently driving with my sister, and she's just like, We're just driving along and she looked at me, she's like, stop sakes, sorry, why do you keep saying sorry? It was like, Oh, it was, you know, I didn't just come so naturally. I think I think I spend a lot of time, you know, on on the internet, on Instagram and places like that trying to sort of like, feel out who my people are, like, what are what are the places that like, Where can I find the people who maybe would benefit from hearing my music. And that's where I spend a lot of time. And there, you know, in multitudes of accounts, you know, Mom accounts and things like this. And a lot of them are pretty fictionalized. And not real representations of what it is. And a lot of them are these like, you can go in extremes, right? I used to joke like I had when I had when I had a kid in preschool. All the parents are like, Yes, I'll show up for that 10am event, and I will bring treats and everything will be great. And I will make them myself and I'll knit Everyone is fine. And then I went to like, like, I took the same kid, you know, her her primary school. And all the parents were like, competitively like, disassociated. Like they're like, What? Forgot I even had a kid. When's the birthday? Oh, no. Goofy extremes of like, Oh, okay. So I think that I have felt guilty. I feel more guilty now about doing my work than I ever have. But it's because I'm doing more work than I ever have. Yeah. Yeah. And coincide. And like, conveniently for me, like my, my two children, this is the first two they're both in school for longer than like two hours at a time. So they're both gone for a large period of the day, for the most part, which gives me a little bit of space, which means that like in this in the time that they are home, I feel like I can participate more with them. Not perfectly certainly. Because a lot of the time I'm still trying to like eat go and a few hours, you know, just do this thing have to just look the other way for you know, three minutes more, or whatever. Yeah, but definitely, I'd say that I feel more guilty now about you know, oh, I didn't take my kids apple picking you like, that's a false thing I should have done with my children. Oh, yeah. Like, if there were these things that I shouldn't have done? Dang it. But like, I always joke like, I'm not a I'm not like a I'm not a I'm gonna participate or you don't like I don't? I'm not the volunteer, you know, at the magic show.
Yes, Sydney covers.
Exactly. I'm like, go ahead. And I, like I hate I'm not like an amusement park person. I don't, I don't, I don't, I want to sit at the back of the class, I can watch everybody else. You know, that's, that's where I am. And I sometimes just forget about, like, the very, you know, all the stuff, the stuff that kids get to do. And sometimes I feel really bad about that. Because I have, you know, relatives and friends who are really good at remembering that kind of stuff. But there are other times where I'm just so grateful that I've given my kids the space to be bored. And because they're so deeply creative, yeah, they're so creative with the way that they use their time their stuff. The you know, the, the imagination and their ability to be with themselves and not have to constantly be entertained by me or anyone you know. Yeah, yeah. I think I fluctuate between just feeling like, oh my god, I did you know, I'm failing them. I'm feeling them because we didn't go apple picking or whatever. And like, wow, I'm really glad that we spent the afternoon you know, upstairs learning how to use a hot glue gun or whatever. Whatever it might be. Yeah, that's
CDs in it. Like, I don't know, it's just there was a lady I interviewed yesterday, who said her mom can't understand why this generation of mothers feels like we always have to be entertaining our children. It's like, like, going here doing this doing that doing that. And I feel like it's what you're saying is is awesome because when I remember my childhood, I don't remember. Like my obviously my parents were there doing doing doing doing doing doing doing things with them at my you know, we were when we're at home it was like, You go create your games or you go do what you want to do or you play your instrument. You just do things and my sister and I a two and a half years different so often, you know, together, you know fishing around doing something or You know, and that I feel like that's not, that's not what childhood is now, there's always going to be something that they're doing or something that they're given to entertain them. And, you know, devices are, obviously come to front of mind, but, and even in, I did some training at work the other day, I'm an early childhood educator and I work in a kindergarten. And we were asked to recall the words that described our childhood. And I remember, like, Freedom literally came to mind, because we were free to do what we wanted, decide what we wanted, we could go out and you know, ride the bikes around. So literal freedom, but the freedom to say, you know, let's just make up this game or, whereas now I feel like there's so much I don't want to say control. But it's, there's got to be things presented to kids all the time. So I love what you're doing with your kids. And it sounds like awesome.
Yeah. Do you know what? Yeah, like, even just hearing you say that like that? I love that. You said that freedom is what came to mind. But I'm not sure that that's the word that I would that would come to mind. But like my, you know, my mom had four kids after me. Yeah, well, if there was not, there was no active like she couldn't possibly take us to an afternoon activity. You know what I mean? Unless we could very ourselves there or like, just stay after school longer or whatever. Like, it was not happening and. And yeah, the hours spent outside and like, with friends getting into trouble or whatever, or like, just being out being being around choosing to do spending hours with a painting, whatever, like, whatever it was bossing my sister's around and making them like, dress up and you know, little costumes and stuff. I like I live for. I loved it. And that's like, that's yeah, I just think there's like a lot to be gained from that. Now, of course, like, I feel a little conflicted, right, as somebody who wants to be performing too, because like, I wouldn't go to my show. I'd be like, Nope, I'm not going out. But maybe that's all the more reasons to start doing things like in house shows and whatnot. But, um, but yeah, no, I love I love that I love I love that freedom is the word that comes to mind. And I hope no, I hope that that's sort of hope that's what they feel a little bit of. Hope that is, I don't know, I don't know if that will be what they take away but.
In terms of you being a creator, and a mother, is it important to you. And I put this in air quotes to be more than just a mom, because we're never just a mum, but to be doing something for yourself outside of your mothering role.
I think it's become more important for me. This is a conflict, isn't it? I struggle sometimes because I realize I do a lot of things so that people can look at me and say, Wow, she's doing a lot of things. And like, I glean a lot of like, purpose and value from that, that I really wish I didn't, you know, like, I wish that I could you know, spend a day doing good, like, taking care of my kids, my house, whatever, you know, like just like Elon mom stuff. And at the end of the day, you know, when someone's like, what do you do today? Tell them what I did today. And feel good about it. Like I remember I was on a I was on one of those zoom co writes with somebody and they said, Tell me your story. This was a few years ago now. Tell me your story. Like what like what, you know, who are you whatever. And I said, Well, I'm a mom. I'm like, I couldn't think of another thing to say as though like, that was the only thing about me were saying but also like, I was under you know, I was undercutting it as I said it like just a mob. So, yeah, so I think I feel like that's a I do feel compelled to do more than quote just momming But I don't know that that's like for a very good reason. Because I think that momming is a really big. Making sure the next generation of people are not assholes is a really big responsibility that I wish more people undertook Yeah, no guarantees, I mean, but but, uh, you know, fingers crossed, things will work out
me out there in the sunshine. Okay, when I can see,
it's important to me that my kids see that I'm that I do things creatively and more than just see it, like, I want them to know it, I want them to I tell them, you know, like I, I don't shy away from being like, I need to do this thing now, you know, I can't look at your castle for the third time because I'm in the middle of writing something you're gonna have to wait, you know, and and showing them that I value what I'm doing as I'm doing it and, and I used to like really relish the fact that I could shove everything into the margins of my life because I you know, as a mom, that's kind of what you do. And I see no, of course, it's still I'm up here, you know, it's like 10 o'clock my time like it was we all that's what we do. But um, but also like, there's nothing wrong, you know, if it's 2pm and I have a lyric in my mind to say like, you have to do something else right now. I'm working and working on this thing or like, you know, if you didn't interrupt me six times, I could already be done. And then I would you would have me. So if you could just go do something else for a minute. Yeah, and I think it's become increasingly more important to me to articulate those kinds of things. Sometimes even just so I hear them, you know, like, it's important for me to be working yourself. This matters, you should you know, stop interrupting yourself. The laundry will get done, you know? Yeah. The bathroom, giggling whatever. Like, I know that you really want to get this, that that's looming over you. But also like, that will that will not change. But you might lose this line of thought, you know, like, you might lose this green light of hot. Exactly, the bathroom will stay dirty. So
anyway. Yeah, that's the thing isn't like, as a creative person, you things will strike you at any time. There's no predictability about it whatsoever. It's like, you've got to get it down because it'll go and it won't come back. Yeah, I've had that happen so many times where I've thought to myself, just remember these just remember this dish. Remember this nap?
Now, two seconds later? Yeah. Literally.
I even I was saying to someone the other day that I at work, sometimes I'll be out in the yard with the kids and I'll get I'm very seem to pick up, like get ideas through rhythm. So I'll hear someone doing something so many times at work. I'd be petting babies to sleep and just get songs just from the rhythm of my party. So I have to have to put down so I'll run into the toilet. I like quickly. Record. That's good. I can relax now. I've got that damn.
Oh my god, that feeling is so good. Yeah, nevermind the fact that I haven't named it and we'll have like a dozen more before I look at them again. But still, it's just a relief. And they're all like, like, somehow
get an idea.
Do you find with your writing process? Do you get a tune? Or do you get lyrics? Or like, how does it come to you?
Yeah, yeah. I'm always interested in this because I don't know. Oftentimes, oftentimes, it'll be like a little phrase with a lyric. So like a little musical phrase with a lyric. And then like, where does that take me and then often, it'll be a melody that I kind of can can put words into, but it'll start usually with like, a little line of melody and lyric together. And then they'll move from there. But for me, like, like you said, you were saying earlier, it's it really helps when you're writing a song that you, like, comes from you, you don't even like I'm writing. This is what's on my mind. And so this is like, there's a folk, it's not like an amorphous, like, I love you, you know, like, and then we fell in love. You know, it's like something a lot more specific, or an idea that's a little more specific, that can kind of guide then you're like, whatever the narrative and and tone of the song evolves into. Yeah, you said for rhythm is that? Does it really become a melody does it become
um, sometimes it becomes the melody. Sometimes it's just what I hear. And I make a melody over the top of, it's really random, like, I've had times where I've just been walking, and I think I've been conscious of my footsteps and I've just got stuff. Yeah, and yeah, padding, padding babies to sleep. I reckon I've written about four songs, putting babies to sleep, and then rushed out of the baby's room quickly whittling it down really quickly. Because you can have your phone with you there on the floor. So it's like, right, right, right, right. Yeah. That yeah, it's just and it Yeah, it just, I just find it so fascinating how it'll literally just, boom, it'll be there. Yeah. Yeah, it's not there. Like it just, it doesn't. It doesn't slowly creep in. It's like, bang, done. Like, it's just a masking.
Yeah, it is such a neat process. And it's so different for every songwriter. Yeah, I've been following this guy named Derek Webb, he, he started this, the reason I followed him is because he started this project, he's like, I'm gonna write this album out loud, like, I'm gonna livestream my writing sessions. And I was like, can't wait to watch that happen. So I've been watching him, him write this album, and like, you know, watching the live, it's just, it's such a different, he's much more like intellectual than I am, and like, much more cerebral about the way that he does things. But he's like, you know, his, like, notes of all the lyric options, and then like, all the voice notes, and you listen through with them. And there are a lot of those, like, you know, things that go into a story or a vocal narrative. And, yeah, it's just been, it's been really interesting and inspirational, because you're like, oh, man, there's so many ways to go about this. And I don't have to be, you know, pigeonholed by what I've known, you know, in one way, like, maybe there's a lot of other ways too, which is cool. I've got to
say, writing songs has been one of the few things that I've just completely trusted my gut on that I haven't, I felt like, Am I doing this, right? And I'm that sort of person. I think because of this perfectionism, or hence, everyone else do it. You know, like, I find them obviously, I find that interesting. But as a kid, like, I wrote a lot of poetry and stuff, and I don't think I ever, I didn't care what anyone else thought or need anyone else did. Or not, it's one of the few things in my life where I've really been able to say that, I just realized that just then.
I love that. That's amazing. That's amazing. And that's, I mean, like, that's such a good word. Because you're like, because that's the whole thing with Sunrise. Like, you know, there are what I think the latest data, I just somebody just said this, I think it's something like 100,000 songs are uploaded, like a day, to Spotify, or something very depressing like that. But, you know, like, what makes you you like, what's the weirdest thing about you? Like, what's the most true, strange, specific thing about you that you can trust? And that's what's going to, you know, that's what makes it worth it. That's what makes it worth it, to have your voice and share it to be you. Like, you're not trying to be anybody else. And when you're not trying to be anybody else's, and when you new a new the most, you know, trustworthy really, you know, as an artist.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it? That authenticity and Yeah, cuz I think you can get like that. That number is a scary number that like just made me shudder. Listening, God, has anyone ever gonna hear me? But it's like, I think sometimes. As an artist, you can be caught up in what? What is successful? What, what is being played on the radio? Or what is whatever your idea of success is? What is touring that space? And like, Oh, I'll try and do that. But it never works. Because it's not you. You know, it's just you can't fake yourself. I don't know. Like that's it. Take anything, don't take anything else from these podcasts. You can't fake yourself again. Remember that? So I don't know. It's just now anyway, that I've really gone.
I mean, to me, it all makes sense. It all makes sense. It's online. Because it's just so authenticity piece. It's like you we were talking about, like, Do your kids show up in your music, do you? Well, if you're writing from an authentic place, and you happen to have kids probably one way or another, even if it's not explicitly, like I have kids, you're singing on some level, you know, for about because, you know, in this space between them, you know, whatever, it's gonna be informed by that because it's your life. That's the life that you're living.
Yeah, absolutely. That's it. Yeah, I actually had another mom I had on the podcast, say, say very similar thing. She's like, this is the person I am. I'm a mother with children. So this is what comes out of me, you know?
Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Sorry. Not sorry. I'm not sorry. Actually. You're not sorry. No, you're not sorry.
So your cars you can And.
So on that, something I used to talk about a lot in the podcast and sort of waned a little bit lately, but I'm gonna bring it back up about this, the role of sort of capitalism, I guess, in creativity. And when you say, you know, there's that many new songs coming out of Spotify every day. And as an independent artist, it's like, how the hell will anyone hear me? But it's like, it's like, you don't create it, for other people to hear it. You create it, because this is your way of expressing yourself. Yeah. And you have to, yes, yes. And the value that you place on that creativity doesn't be come diminished, just because you're not earning a financial gain from that makes sense.
Yeah. I, yeah. Gosh, boy, is that a tough one, because you, especially if you are coming from a place of being primarily a parent, and not a breadwinner, and not an income earner. You, I always feel like there's, like, I have to make an excuse for doing my work or spending money on my work. And, or for my work rather, and, and spending the time either time to, you know, because that's a that's a pretty precious resource as well. But I was at a kid's party once, and this mom was looking at her four kids running around. And she was talking about how she and her husband, you know, took turns or whatever, for to pursue their particular passions, and she's a librarian. So she wanted to really wanted this one job at a university in a position and as a tenured position, whatever, but she was going to school and she said, You know what, to get really what you want to do, when you want, if you're in this position, you just gotta bleed money. What she's like, Yeah, just bleed it, you know what I mean? Just bleed it for a while, because at least you'll be happy. And I was like, And on some level, I think I've carried that around with me like, this is, it's worth it. If it leads to that, because your kids are not going to be like, my mom was financially secure. Your kids are going to be like, my mom was happy. You know, my mom did what she loved. And I'm not sure why I'm talking about myself, like I'm giving a eulogy. But my, you know, like, they're saying, like, my, my mom does what she loves, my mom pursues her passions in ways that allow me to feel like I can as well. Even you know, like, whatever the cost, financially was, like, within reason, obviously, like, within reason. But for me, I find like, that was very validating, because I was like, Oh, I'm not the only one out here being like, sorry may get a rain for a lot of other people, because I just, you know, it costs a lot of money to record. And to, you know, and to get processed and to like to get things heard in any sort of ways, hard and expensive and a little bit required, you know, on a lot of levels. Um, you know, depending of course, on your circumstance, but I don't know, I guess that that I ran into her just a few weeks ago again, and I was like, you know, you told me she's like, Yeah, I got that dream job. And then I left it. But that's she's like putting out a better one, but I got a better one. Okay. Okay. At least there's that. Yeah, yeah. Just like the the ability to believe that, that art exists outside of money, you know, that. It's, it's a real Fu, isn't it? It's a real fuck you to capitalism to be like, I'm gonna continue making my art and loving it and doing it well. And sharing it, you know, best I can. However I can, regardless and outside of the system that doesn't want me in it. Because, like, some days, I feel like I can't crack this and some days. I'm like, why am I trying to crack? You know? Yeah, but that it gets tricky.
Yeah, it's something I've always struggled with is that I'm spend more money on my art than what I make from it. And yeah, I sort of feel I find that really hard to justify sometimes, like, you know, I could have paid paid for the kids to do something, you know, like that money could have gone to something else. But then I think I need to do this, like I need to have my needs met in this way. And this is just how it manifests. And I'm married to a financial planner, which makes life really challenging. So it says, this many of your CDs, or you need to sell this thing or whatever. And I'm like, I'm not listening to that, because I can't be held to that, you know, I'm doing it because I love doing it.
It's really, really stressful. To receive that math to be a really stressful
message. For sure, it's very helpful in other ways, because I know we'll have enough money when we retire. But it can be challenging at times. And it's like, these are literally the two worlds colliding, you know? Listen, yeah, for sort of that. Yeah,
I don't know. It's like, yeah, and I also find, I also get quite jaded by, you know, the commercial radio and the whole music industry. That is literally a money making machine. And I sort of think, I think, when I was younger, I had friends around me like, Oh, we've got to get a record deal. We've got to get signed and whatever. And it's like, I actually don't want anyone else to take ownership of anything that I've written or recorded, even if that means that I'm not going to be on whatever radio station because that's not who I am. And that might sound like I'm selling it, I'm making an excuse where I haven't gotten signed, you know what I mean? But like, you just look at the whole Miss Taylor Swift got herself in with that bloke that held all of her rights, and then sold them. And now she's had to go back and record everything. You just think like, even now, she probably truly doesn't own her work. You know? I don't I just
I don't know. Yeah, yeah, I'm with you. And that's I mean, and I think that in the artists, so this goes back, I think it goes back to just recording with those guys in Nashville, because I, you know, I'm, I'm on the east coast of the United States. And it's kind of like a gogogo mentality, and there's a lot of urgency, there's a lot of busyness. And that's just kind of in the air. And like, it's not even something I notice, unless I'm somewhere else. Right. And in, in Nashville, I just the first time I went down, you know, it was it was January of 2021. So the rug had essentially just been pulled out from under all these, you know, musicians are sitting there with the band hired to do this gig. And that was probably really good for them and everything. But Alexa, several of them are touring musicians that just didn't have a job anymore, you know? And you can get really down and have about that. And that can really sort of destroy you and your confidence. But like, every single one of them was like, Well, yeah. And then I learned how to do this from home. And then I figured out this thing, and I thought why isn't this possible? And that's sort of been the thing every time I've gone down there just the spirit of like, why not? Yeah, like, why don't we try. And these aren't like big, huge artists, you know, they're, they're usually little indie people. And, you know, I just this last project they recorded. The drummer, who we got her name is Megan Coleman, but she was, had just been on tour with Alison Russell, who's a really big Americana person who was on tour with brandy Carlisle. Like, that was the tour, she was just on, you know, and then she came and recorded my little rinky dink project, you know what I mean? And so like, to be a working successful musician, means so many different things. And it really has a lot to do with your belief and possibility. And also imagination. And I think that's really what that you know, what that what the these experiences have really shown me is that like, doing the thing, and actually, my son, my producers life said this to me, when we had dinner when I was there, and she was like, you know, that you're doing, you're doing the thing? You're already doing it, you know, like, you don't have to wait for some abstract, like, successful, like, you know, Sunday come up over the horizon. Like, yeah, you're doing the thing. And that is it, you know, like, congratulations, because you're doing the thing. And I don't think I'd ever really thought about it that way before where it's like, Oh, I get to, you know, am I making money? Absolutely not. What I like to be sure, that's a separate issue. It's a separate issue altogether. Am I Well, Getting to believe that my creative pursuits, instincts and outcomes are are worth trusting and pursuing. I do get to do that every day. And that's, that's pretty cool.
And you've got your daughter's watching, which is
awesome. Yeah, yeah. I mean usually pretty annoyed with me but later they're gonna be like
even heard about bound?
There's no way to shame is refusing
Have you got anything in the future that you want to mention that's coming up or anything else you want to mention anything at all that's on your mind?
Oh, what is on my mind these days? I'm, you know, I guess I want to emphasize that like you're not doing it wrong if it's really hard. You know what I mean? Because things worth doing are hard. That's just it. And like today, and this week, I've really been struggling because you know, people don't get back to me quickly, or with the right answers that I want. At that moment. Like today, I got frustrated because I was talking to a photographer and I have this idea for a photo shoot for this next project. And he wouldn't just say, like, do this, this is a good idea. And every time I leave a conversation with God, I think, what's that? Do they hate my idea? Like, is it not worth pursuing? Should I trust it? And like, you feel this really lonely? Because you're like, I'm the only one who thinks this. Yeah. And I guess I guess I want to say like, get even if you're the only one who thinks that, it's, it's your, you know, it's worth doing. It's worth doing. If you if, you know, if you're compelled to do it, you know, you can't stop thinking about it. It's, you know, if it's if it's becomes that sort of like obsessive thought, chances are like, you're not going to be able to not do it. And, yeah, and to just I guess, try trust it trust that difficulty. Not not because it makes it easier. Not because it makes it easier. But because it had no it reminds you, I guess maybe of the worth of the worth of it. And, you know, looking back on all the work from the last project that was predominantly solo and really difficult. I'm so proud of it, you know, so proud. And I know, you know, through all this, like, you know, every day it's sort of this like, well, the person making the video get back to me, well, the person booking the venue of the it's always just this like, silent prayer, like somebody's going to be like, Yes, this is good. But the first this is good, like has to come has to come from me, this is good. And it is worth it. And I'm not going to give up until somebody sees that it's good with me. Not because that validates it, but because it needs to be out in the world somewhere. And whoever needs to hear it. should hear it. And so I'm gonna do the best I can to make sure that they do.
Well. Good Anya. Love that. That is a that is brilliantly said. I think we can all relate to that in different ways. Yeah,
that's that's really good. Oh, thanks. I'm gonna get a new project coming out. But I don't have a specific date for that yet. So I can't pitch it. But you know, if you want to follow me on Instagram, I'd love to have you there. It's Katie, underscore Callahan underscore music. You know, that's, it's pretty fun. Pretty fun over there a lot.
It is fun. It's a lot of snakes over shoulder snakes. Oh, God,
I think about the people like oh my god, who's actually seen this, like periodically, like the preschool teacher will like it. And I'm like Sorry.
I'll put the links to your to all your bits and bobs in the show notes so people can click along and
yeah, and I mean, as soon as as soon as I have stuff to share about the new the new stuff. I'm so excited about it. And it's you know, it's for people like you interview you know, like, when i Whenever I listen, I'm like a man that is exactly. That's exactly the kind of person I want. You know that I want to hear this music that's coming out. So yeah, it's about it's badass guys,
so I can't wait. I'm excited. That's awesome. Good Anya. Aw, thank you so much for coming on. It's been such a pleasure chatting and I just keep doing what you're doing because I just love love your energy and your enthusiasm and what you share with the world. So thank you.
Thank you. Thank you so much. This has been a true joy. I loved it loved meeting you.
Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mom
Helen Thompson is a childcare educator and baby massage instructor. And she knows being a parent for the first time is challenging and changes your life in every way imaginable. Join Helen each week in the first time moms chat podcast, where she'll help ease your transition into parenthood. Helen aims to offer supported holistic approaches and insights for moms of babies aged mainly from four weeks to 10 months of age. Helens goal is to assist you to become the most confident parents you can and smooth out the bumps along the way. Check out first time mums chat at my baby massage.net forward slash podcast