Written by Sophie Wyatt
Bristolian songwriter and producer Kathleen Frances has shared her debut EP, ‘Through The Blue’. Frances plays headline shows in Bristol and London next week to celebrate the release. She’s also confirmed appearances at The Great Escape and Greenman later in the year. And we were lucky enough to catch up with her prior to this to discuss the EP and her journey in music.
We kicked off the interview by deep diving into Kathleen’s musical memories. We wanted to know her first memories of music and how that has impacted the way she creates music today.
‘When I was very young it’s listening to albums my parents were into on long car journeys. They played a mix from Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel, Sade, Steely Dan, Eva Cassidy & Cat Stevens. Anything with a catchy hook me and my sisters would sing/shout along too from the backseat. Money by Pink Floyd was a particular favourite. My dad played guitar and piano so I have memories of him playing. When we were old enough we had piano lessons but his electric guitars were far too precious for our mucky fingers, he sometimes let us have a strum under strict supervision. My mum was into really great singers like Tracy chapman, Sade, Eva Cassidy, Whitney Houston so there was always that playing on the kitchen stereo on the weekends.’
With such a musical upbringing, it’s no surprise that Kathleen found her future in music. But we wanted to know if this came from a general progression or whether there was a pinpoint moment that she knew she would turn her passion into a career.
‘I’m not sure there was a specific significant moment but every time I perform live I realise why I chose to do this. Being able to connect to somebody else in one particular moment in a shared space is pretty magical.’
‘Through The Blue‘ is Kathleen’s debut EP. The collection of tracks takes listeners on a journey into Kathleen’s mind and her background. She went into a more detail on how this project came together and the emotions she is trying to evoke with her unique sounds.
‘I wrote nearly all of this EP with Benji Bower another Bristolian musician who is exceptionally talented. We worked mostly remotely on this body of work which actually suits me well as I feel I get my best writing when I’m in my own space, that mainly being my bedroom. We’d send ideas back and forth and sometimes get together in the room to tweak. I really wanted to create something that holds you in a space and allows you to feel the complexity of life and its ups and downs.’
Finally we spoke about Kathleen’s future in music. Aside from the release of her debut EP, Kathleen has a number of exciting shows, festivals and musical plans up her sleeve.
‘I have some headline live shows coming up in March in London and Bristol which I’m very excited about. The set up is me on vocals and sub bass/synths and triggering drums and a wonderful piano player. I love the intimacy of the set up, I think it showcases the songs perfectly. I’m also performing at Green Man festival, The Great Escape & Connect festival this summer which I’m very excited about.’