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INTERVIEW: Best Girl Athlete

Hi Katie, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Well, I’ve been pretty busy between finishing off the new album and sitting my final exams at school. It’s been great to have a bit of time off during the summer though.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “In Your Head”?

I love it. We’d been looking to take things in a slightly different direction, whilst still keeping that BGA sound. The last album was more about the strings and we still have that but we were keen to try and work with more varied instrumentation. I’d been with my dad to see a band called The Haggis Horns in Edinburgh and thought they were amazing and managed to get them to arrange and record the horn part. They have played with some incredible musicians so it was great to have them play for us. The horns have gained the track some comparisons with Mark Ronson, which maybe isn’t surprising as he is apparently a big fan of The Haggis Horns. I sing with Michael Chang (IndianRedLopez) on the track, he’s been involved in a few of the songs and has been great to work with.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The album has been written by myself and my dad and this one was actually one of my dad’s. But, he’s right here, let me ask him what it’s about. Dad…dad…dad!! They’re asking what the song’s about? Hmm, I think he’s lying, he says it’s about a lonely shark that makes friends with an injured seal. He seems a little confused, I think it’s time for his cocoa. Let me tell you what I think it’s about. In keeping with most of the stuff my dad writes, it’s fairly dark and is about people taking responsibility for their own actions and the desperation of conforming to others expectations. I think he has problems.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Not for this one unfortunately. We spoke about doing something along the lines of the film They Live but I think an over-active imagination coupled with a non-existent budget put a halt to that. There is a further single, ‘Lucy’ coming out around the time of the album release though, which we are currently making a video for. I can’t say too much about it just now though!

The single comes off your new self-titled album – why naming the album after the moniker?

Because we couldn’t think of anything else. Seriously. We just thought it felt right. The name isn’t just plucked out of the air and I actually have a trophy I won at primary school that says ‘Best Girl Athlete’ on it. Sadly have no athletic skills these days.

How was the recording and writing process?

Well, the last album was done almost entirely in my dad’s flat but we secured some funding for this one which allowed us to get a great producer and use the studio much more. This also allowed us to have more musicians involved. I was really pleased that we got contributions from Rick Anthony (Rick Redbeard/Phantom Band) and Iona Fyfe. The actual writing was fairly easy, we don’t sit down and say ‘let’s write some songs’, I guess it’s a fairly natural process that just happens as we go along. There are just the two of us in the flat and there are always guitars and instruments lying around, so nothing is forced. We rarely sit down together to write and prefer to come up with our own songs.

After the success from your previous record, were you any nervous while working on this newest material?

No, not at all, there’s no pressure coming from anywhere. I would say I was much more excited about the possibilities than nervous. It’s definitely a very different album to the first one as well so I think there is potential for a widened demographic and response, so all very exciting to me.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Inspiration comes from relationships, experiences and situations I’ve been in. On this album, I wrote a lot more than on the first, so I’m really looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to my songwriting! A lot of my writing on the album was particularly influenced by relationships that I’ve been in, whether that be friendship or romantic, it can really influence writing vibes for better or for worse! One song in particular, ‘Silver City’ is a reference to my home city of Aberdeen and it’s about my relationship with where I grew up.

Any plans to hit the road?

Well, we’re playing a few shows in September with an American artist called Sam Goodwill that we made friends with when we toured the states a couple of years ago. I’m really excited about that. Unfortunately, the album release roughly coincides with me starting to study Law so there won’t be a tour, but I’m sure I’ll be out and about playing once I’m settled in with studying.

What else is happening next in Best Girl Athlete’s world?

Of course, the new album comes out in October and I can’t wait for people to hear it and I’ll be moving from Aberdeen to Glasgow in September so I may be on the hunt for a new band! I think I’ve always been very lucky with the opportunities that have come the way of Best Girl Athlete and consequently, I don’t plan ahead that much ahead and just tend take things as they come. I’m sure this isn’t typical for most musicians but I’m happy just to see what happens.

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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