Karla Kane Interview/Album Review
Karla Kane is quickly becoming one of our frequently featured artists. Whether it’s with her band, The Corner Laughers, or more recently her solo album, we’re happy to shine a little light on this enchanting artist. Earlier this month Kane released, King’s Daughters Home for Incurable’s. Recorded at her home, the album is a mix of whimsy, nature and keen observations of what’s happening in our current political climate. Deeply lyrical, and thought provoking King’s Daughters is one of those album’s you should listen to with your full attention. Play it when you’re alone, with friends and family, night or day and it’s sure to enchant and please. I had the opportunity to ask Karla her thoughts on recording a solo album for the first time, and she was so kind to give some thoughtful insight. Read the interview below, and don’t forget to grab the album, available now through her bandcamp page.
Thanks for joining us today, Karla. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you! I’m Karla Kane, probably best known as the lead singer/songwriter/ukulele player in The Corner Laughers. I’m based in Northern California, where I live with my husband (and bandmate) Khoi Huynh, daughter Octavia, three cats, and a chinchilla. I’m also an incurable Anglophile, which partly inspired my new album. In addition to music, I’m an arts and entertainment writer and editor at a local newspaper.
King’s Daughters Home For Incurables is your new solo album. How was the creation of this album different than your experience with your band, The Corner Laughers?
In some ways it was similar, in that it’s still my songwriting, singing and playing style, but it was quite different in some ways as well. Of course, being a solo album rather than a band means that it was a lot more “me” overall — in sound, in decision-making, etc. I recorded it at home, using just a laptop and one microphone, rather than working in a studio with a producer. It has a decisively more acoustic/gentle/folky/intimate sound than The Corner Laughers records. Being a “solo album,” though, doesn’t mean I’m the only person on it. Khoi plays on almost every track and I had a whole host of wonderful collaborators both in England and in California making guest appearances.
Do you have a specific moment or experience during recording that will be memorable for you for years to come?
The song “Under the Oak in May” kind of represents the creation of this album for me. I wrote the song (as I do many of my songs) literally under my oak tree in the backyard in the spring, and it was the first song I did in which I interwove Richard Youell’s nature recordings into the track. I’ll always remember that as exemplifying the sound and feel of this project, I think. I’m also over-the-moon thrilled that one of my favorite musicians and writers, Martin Newell (Cleaners from Venus) sings and recites one of this poems on the song “Wishing Tree.”
How has motherhood affected you as a song-writer?
Motherhood has affected every aspect of life, including as a songwriter. Both the most recent CL album and the new album have songs that were either written for my daughter or were partially inspired by the experience of being a parent. On King’s Daughter’s Home for Incurables, that includes “Don’t Hush, Darling,” which is kind of an anti-lullaby/subversion of nursery rhymes/fairytales to try and counter the prevailing “pretty pink princess industrial complex” and promote empowerment, and “The Lilac Line” and “Under the Oak in May,” which both ponder the way time seems to pass all too quickly. Raising a child makes you both worry a lot more and feel motivated to try and make the world better. I think in terms of songwriting themes as well as just in life in general, motherhood both raises anxiety levels considerably and brings a lot of joy and wonder, too.
What can you tell us about your All Aboard Tour?
For the past few years, Khoi and I have been going over to England and playing acoustic tours with our friends Mark and Helen Luker of the Nottingham band Fun of the Pier, and Anton Barbeau, of Sacramento and Berlin. Now that I’ve finally made an acoustic album that represents that sound a bit more, we’re happy to tour that way again. Mark and Helen came out to California in early September and now we’re off to the UK and Berlin this month.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. Parting words for the readers of Wordkrapht?
In these very odd and often disturbing times, we need to seek out and listen to diverse voices and media more than ever. Thanks so much for supporting the work of independent, original artists and writers!
Album Name: King’s Daughters Home for Incurables
Release Date: October 6th
Genre: Folk, Singer/Songwriter