Catherine Clarnette is an accomplished musician and songwriter, with a dulcet vocal tone and an inviting stage presence. Her debut album, ‘Bold’, released in June 2016, is an eclectic collection of original music, weaving through dark pop songs, modern jazz tunes and introspective piano ballads. We caught up with Catherine here at Entertwine to ask her a bit about her musical upbringing, and her debut album, “Bold”. Enjoy our interview with Catherine Clarnette below!
Entertwine: Where did your interest in dark pop sprout from? When did you know you wanted to pursue music professionally? I love pop music, but especially pop songs with darker, more melancholy sounds. I studied music and I think we’re often taught to believe that pop doesn’t have anything to offer. Pop music can be intricate and serious, and that’s what I like to explore. I’ve always known I wanted to pursue music and went to university thinking I would end up performing professionally. I actually fell in love with teaching music, and that’s now my full-time job. So I do my original music on the side to keep creative and inspired.
Who are some of your musical influences, why? One of my favourites is Marina And The Diamonds. Her lyrics are the best. She writes great melodies, and her voice has such a real quality to it. I also really enjoy listening to Nightwish and Deathstars. I love the symphonic sounds and the combination of real and synthesised instrumentation.
Tell us about your debut album, “Bold”! What was the recording/writing process like? The album is titled ‘Bold’ because of the honesty in the lyrics. The songs are introspective and personal, and I thought putting this out there was quite a bold thing to do. The whole album was produced and recorded with Rob Agostini at Soundbaker Studios in Perth. I had so much fun throughout the whole process and I’m very excited to do it again. I started seriously writing for the album towards the end of 2014, notating and arranging all the parts on Sibelius. I then exported the music as midi files and Rob and I created each song from there, manipulating the sounds and adding parts, altering the arrangements, gradually replacing the scratch tracks with the real ones as we recorded each part.
Which song would you say was the most challenging to write/record? ‘Never Live The Same Way’. It’s a dramatic song with lots of layers, and a hybrid of live and sampled strings. All of the live string layers were recorded separately and then balanced with the sampled tracks to achieve a full, orchestral sound.
Which song do you prefer to play live? Why? I love performing ‘Elegy’ because it opens intimately with just voice and piano and builds into a cinematic ballad.
What is next for you in 2016? I’ll continue writing and recording, and look forward to releasing new music in 2017.