Kathryn Joseph, after having difficulty writing music during the height of the pandemic, has astonished with a movement away from her typically high drama sound to a hushed, seething anger that threads each of the tracks on her new album for you who are the wronged.
The album was recorded at musician and visual artist Lomond Campbell’s The Lengths, which gave the artist the opportunity to focus her entire attention on the project at this Highland haven. It’s an album that demands your full attention.
Kathryn spoke with SNACK about her motives for writing and recording her latest LP, as well as the hope she holds for the impact it may have.
The issues explored in the new LP to me feel raw, vulnerable, gritty. I mean, it’s in the title, but what would you advise new listeners of for you who are the wronged to expect? To me, it feels like it documents the toxic, abusive relationships that make us writhe and spit venom, and you are condemning it all. It feels like you are giving voice to so many that find it difficult to be heard. Would you agree?
Well, first of all, I think your way of describing it is absolutely beautiful. Thank you very much. And yeah, it’s something that’s just really important. To me, it’s like, I’ve watched a lot of different types of abusive situations happening to those that I love. I’ve been very lucky but I’m also very aware of how difficult it is to escape them: how close I’ve come to being trapped by the types of people who work like that, or who control people like that.
And it’s just such a difficult thing, because there’s no way of stopping it. And there’s often no way of even proving it’s happening or happened. The people it’s happening to are usually the most beautiful of creatures, and it’s just so upsetting to watch these beautiful people being damaged.
There isn’t even any advice: a lot of the advice is just to be hands off about it because if you do in any way try and intercept it just makes the situation worse. So, it’s that feeling of helplessness. I struggle with it when I can see it happening, but there’s nothing I can do. All I can do is write some strange, creepy, hopefully comforting little songs. I’m very aware that in the grand scheme of things, it means nothing. I’m also aware of how affected I am by other people’s music and how it can make you make sense of situations that you’re in or have been in. So, I’m hoping that we’ll do that for someone
We were reminded of your previous sound recently with the release of The Blood, The Weight, The Weary [a collaboration with Tinderbox Collective]. For this reason, for you who are the wronged sounds even sparser and quieter than we were perhaps ready for. It does, however, give us room to breathe throughout the perhaps triggering lyrical content of the album. Was this intentional?
I think it was. I knew that I wanted to make a record that was really close up. But I wanted it to be comforting. I want it to be the kind of thing that I would listen to the whole way through. And I think making a record like that is quite frightening because there’s that feeling of ‘it’s too much the same’ when it’s not just me listening to it. I hope what I’ve written is something that makes people feel better.
That’s my hope.
I noted you’d recently performed a few gigs in Glasgow and for Record Store Day, but will there be a whole spell of gigs alongside this release? When and where can we look forward to seeing you perform live?
Yeah, so May is busy. I’m away for most of it. But it’s not all in a row; there’s quite a lot of going up and down. But yeah, they start in May, the 4th and 5th in Dublin.
What are you listening to right now that’s inspiring and influencing your music at the moment?
Okay, this is my worst question, because I’m really weird and my mind always goes blank. I mean, I was crying to Taylor Swift again. Does that count? I was really obsessed with the long pond studio sessions [in which Taylor Swift performs each song consecutively on the album, folklore, and reveals the stories behind all 17 tracks]. I just think that record that she’s made is really beautiful. I think there’s some really beautiful moments in it. And Jill Lorean, her new record [This Rock], absolutely beautiful! So clever and strong and great. She’s my hero. I love her.
for you who are the wronged is out from 22nd April via Rock Action Records
Photo credit: Press