For fans of alternative and indie-pop artists like Faye Webster, Father John Misty, and Phoebe Bridgers, the name Kate Bollinger may already be familiar.
As an American singer-songwriter, she seamlessly blends genres of indie, jazz, folk, and pop, captivating listeners with her soft vocals, dreamy melodies and sugared lyrics. I stumbled across Kate’s music back in 2019, pleasantly surprised to learn she was based in Charlottesville, Virginia, not too far from a place I call home myself.
Kate Bollinger has rightfully earned acclaim for her ability to string together lyrics that are both empowering and personal. Her music explores themes of self-discovery, growth, and introspection with a touch of playfulness and innocent sarcasm that makes them all the more endearing. In her latest EP, “Look at it in the Light”, she confronts feelings of unease in finding her own place in the world – a sentiment I too have become increasingly familiar with. The track, “Who Am I But Someone” is a standout for its genuine sincerity and whimsical melody that fills any space with irresistible airy energy.
We were lucky enough to catch a performance by Kate at Le Pop-Up du Label in Paris. The sight of her flipping through a well-worn journal only added to her unassuming and charming demeanor. As she stood on the stage alone, her gentle and heartfelt performance filled the room with a sweet aura of intimacy and closeness that lingered throughout the entirety of her show.
For any Lazy Woman who is looking for music that soothes like warm honey, Kate Bollinger is a must-listen artist.
We were fortunate enough to have a conversation with Kate, delving into her musical influences, her skill in balancing a demanding schedule, and her unique songwriting and creative processes.
Where does your inspiration come from, both for the lyrics and the music itself?
Life, nature, people, books, movies, things that happen to me.
How has your mother, who is a music therapist, influenced your creativity and how you view music?
I had night terrors as a child, as well as lots of trouble sleeping on my own, and my mom spent a lot of time singing lullabies to me. I saw her work with many people over the years and she offered me that same kind of ultimate comfort through music. Simultaneously, I watched both of my older brothers make music and play in bands my whole childhood, so it felt like a natural thing to do, a way to express what I felt and make art.
How have other artists you’ve worked with, such as Faye Webster, influenced you? Are there any women in particular that you look up to?
Faye is really inspiring to me, she’s got such a clear vision. There are too many to name, but as far as other contemporaries… I love Lael Neale’s project, Jessica Pratt, Weyes Blood. I really love everything Tchotchke is doing right now, musically and visually.
You released your first EP in 2019 and you’ve clearly been very busy since then. How are you managing your schedule, are you able to take some time out as well?
I really like being busy, so for the most part it has been really great. I stayed in Berlin for a few days by myself after my last tour ended. I’m really grateful for little windows like that.
You studied film. Your music videos really have a unique but old-school feel to them, how do you come up with the ideas? Do you work with different producers?
Every video has been different so far. I’ve written concepts on my own, collaborated with friends, and with directors I haven’t met before, it really just depends, but I think the marker of a good song for me is one that evokes a whole visual idea in my head. Usually, it begins with a few images that come to mind just from listening to the song and then from there, I flesh out the whole concept.
For the video clip of Who Am I But Someone the whole cast and crew were women, was that a deliberate choice?
This video, however, was the concept of Allyson Yarrow Pierce of Pear Juice Productions. It was a little different from my other videos because I liked her style so much and wanted to allow for her concept to take form. Casting only women was intentional. We did have our good friend Al as a producer, but besides him, the whole production was a little group of women. It was great. It was just a really supportive and fun group of people. Those shoot days were some of my favorite days and a few of the girls that worked on the video are now my closest friends in Los Angeles.
What do you find most satisfying about songwriting?
Being able to take something completely subconscious and articulate it.
Do you have any advice for Lazy Women‘s readers who may be looking to go into creative fields, like music?
Write bad songs! My mom told me this constantly growing up. If you don’t allow yourself to write bad songs, it will be harder for the good ones to come.
If you’re intrigued to check out Kate’s music, as well as some other Lazy Women-approved up-and-coming female artists, check out our most recent playlist and follow us on Spotify.
Interview and intro by Sterre Jansen.
Sterre is a Dutch/American recent master’s graduate working on the editorial team of Lazy Women. Aside from helping out with Lazy Women, Sterre has a strong passion for food sovereignty and food policy at the intersection of communications and creative solutions. In her free time, you can most likely find her at her local farmers market or cooking up a meal in the kitchen.
Image credits: Giraffe Studios
This piece took us about 7 hours to make. All of the Lazy Women team currently works for free – if you like what we do and support our contributors, you can do so on our Ko-Fi page.