Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Roll Around”?
It’s a take on that saying, “hitting rock bottom”. We use that like that’s the end, the very bottom, and then there’s only up from there. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we need to roll around on our rock bottom a bit before we get the message. Change sure doesn’t come easily.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
It’s based on something a friend of mine said to me about his own struggle. And then I reflected on mine. So there are pieces of both of us intertwined in the song.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Not for this tune, but I will have a video for my single, “This Affliction”.
The single comes off your new album For The Wolfish & Wandering – what’s the story behind the title?
Hunger and curiosity are both things that I was experiencing during the process of writing and recording, but also thematic elements in the songs themselves.
How was the recording and writing process?
Much faster than I have ever experienced. Four of the songs are co-writes, which is new to me. And five of the tunes were written after the process started. As a terrible perfectionist, I tend to take way too much time on things. I had to let go of that this time around.
What was it like to work with Charles Newman and how did that relationship develop?
It was great! He really gets the sound I’m trying to achieve.
I sought him out. I’m a big fan of the album he did with The Bones of J.R. Jones, Dark was the Yearling. I just love the sound of the album and the energy of the recording. So I looked up the producer, it was Charles, turns out he lives in Brooklyn, and I emailed him. We had coffee the next week and were working on the album a week after that. It all happened pretty fast.
How much did he get to influence the album?
A good bit. I really trust his ear. I laid out the basics, but he added a whole lot after that.
What role does NYC play in your music?
It’s where I first really started playing my own songs in public. You play here long enough and it starts to feel like a small town, it’s nice that way. There’s a whole lot of talent and drive here and it keeps me on my toes.
What aspect of your life did you get to explore on this record?
Each album has felt like stepping into my skin a little bit more. With this one, it feels like I’m properly in there, but who knows. Maybe I’ll get to the next one and say, “oh I was so young and naive then. I hardly knew who I was.”
I’m fascinated by how our minds work, the worlds we create within them, and the extremes to which we can stretch them. I explore that quite a bit in this album.
What made you want to touch on these themes?
I just write about the things I can’t stop thinking about. When I get stuff out on paper, it takes on a new shape, and I have a different perspective, because then it’s outside of me.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’ll be headed back to Germany in September, with The Reckless Daughters.
What else is happening next in Kate Vargas’ world?
I’m really looking forward to sharing this album. It comes out July 27th. We’re releasing singles and there will be a video as well. I’m continuing to add shows, continuing to write, all the good stuff.