Think for a moment about how good it feels to hang out with your best friends. Now imagine what music would sound like that came out of a relationship like that, and you’ve pretty much got Run Katie Run and their new EP, “Running on Love.” This quintet of best friends makes music that is easy to listen to — comfortable, warm, and inviting. The songs hit many emotions, providing an aural support network for the things we all feel and need to weather with others. Heavily roots-based, they bust through many genres, mixing them up with aplomb: Americana coexists with blues, rock, and pop, giving listeners many feel-good flavors to devour, and all of them are delicious.
In addition to Kate Coleman, who handles lead vocals with soaring finesse and also plays acoustic and electric guitar, the Atlanta-based Run Katie Run is Corey Coleman on guitar and keyboards, guitarist/banjo player Adam Pendlington, bassist Stephen Quinn, and drummer Ian Pendlington. Kate and Corey, the married couple of the group, started out playing as a duo throughout Buffalo, NY. After a move to Atlanta, GA to expand their horizons, they finished in second place in the Country Showdown (hosted by Jewel at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium). More significantly, at an open mic one night in Georgia, they were impressed by a trio called Highbeams. They became mutual admirers and close friends over the next several years, so it was no surprise that Kate recruited Highbeams members Adam, Stephen, and Ian to play on her solo album, Past. Corey played guitar and recorded the album. Then, as offers started coming in to play at clubs and festivals, Kate made them an offer that, luckily, they couldn’t refuse, and Run Katie Run was born.
Vents Magazine sat down with Kate to talk about “Running on Love,” the uber-catchy lead-off track “15 Minutes,” and plans for some live shows in 2021.
Vents: Hi Kate, welcome to VENTS! Can you talk to us more about your brand new EP, “Running on Love”?
Kate: “Running On Love” is a very energetic, harmonic, emotional, and genre-diverse collection of songs. It covers all different subjects, but I think a safe theme to veil over the whole thing is that it’s about asking yourself a series of questions, answering them, and coming out on the other side more confident and self-assured.
Vents: We love the song “15 Minutes.” The track is amazing and caught my attention immediately. Did any event, person, or place in particular inspire the song?
Kate: I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! Honestly, I was allowing a lot of toxic people and my own regrets from the past to muddy up my life. I remember driving alone in the peace-and-quiet of my van, and I recognized that I was taking on more than I could handle. I realized I’d be more peaceful if I started setting harder boundaries with certain people, if I learned to say “no” to things that I didn’t want to do, and focused more on what I needed from my relationships instead of only focusing on how I could help them. When you start to do that, you sometimes lose people, but if you’re taking care of yourself and the result is you lose a friend or two… well, were they really your friend to begin with? This song is a celebration of seeing what I needed and also seeing what I already had.
Vents: How was the recording and writing process for that song?
Kate: This was the first song we started recording for this project. I think it’s by far our most arranged song. If you just listen to the instrumentation, it’s very planned, orchestrated, and intentional. I always send an acoustic demo of the song to the guys and ask them to come prepared with ideas before we get together for pre-production, and they know me so well that the parts they come up with are usually exactly what I had in mind. I wanted the song to start really sparse and end super big, and I also knew right away that I wanted it to be very percussive. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Vents: Drop a few of your favorite lyric lines from this song on us and tell us what inspired them or what you remember about writing them.
Kate: “You ask if we can have a talk, the hinges tighten in my jaw” – that is EXACTLY what happens to me when I’m about to engage in confrontation, so I was really proud of myself for getting that into the song, ha ha.
“It’s only 900 seconds you’ll be on that stage” – I felt very clever working that in there! I’ve had a few people reach out to me saying, “Oh my GOSH – 15 minutes really is 900 seconds!” LOL
Vents: You are from Atlanta. What role has this state played in your music?
Kate: I’m not just blowing smoke – Atlanta musicians are incredible! I moved down to Atlanta in 2012 from Buffalo, NY, and I was in awe of all the musical talent down here. I also feel like Atlanta is a very creatively nurturing environment. There are so many venues, festivals, and other bands who genuinely want to showcase local talent. I think when you live in a state that produced the Allman Brothers, B-52’s, Zac Brown Band, R.E.M, Killer Mike, and SO many more, you do feel like you have license to be as creative as you want to be. That’s very freeing.
Vents: How would you describe or explain your sound to our readers?
Kate: I always struggle with this question, but I think a good explanation is we sound like Dawes if they made a record with Natalie Maine/The Chicks.
Vents: When you are able to head back out on the road, what song are you most looking forward to playing live and why?
Kate: We do have some shows scheduled between April to early June around Georgia that I’m REALLY looking forward to! I’m most excited to play “Running on Love” and “Stay or Leave.” They are both upbeat, super jammy, and they feel so fun and uplifting – I’m really excited to just rock and bop with our fans to those songs!
Vents: Who are your biggest musical influences? Favorite album of all time?
Kate: This is another question I have a hard time with, ha ha ha. I have to say Patsy Cline is one of my biggest influences to date. I was 12 or 13 years old when I first heard Patsy Cline, and I immediately felt connected with her music. The emotion she sang with was incredible to me, and I wanted to be able to do that. Favorite album of all time is probably “Taking the Long Way” by The Chicks. I was so inspired by the honesty in that album, and I think that really shaped me.
Vents: What else is happening next in Run Katie Run’s world?
Kate: One really cool thing is Corey and I have been asked to play at Dollywood on May 5th, so I’m VERY excited about that. I’m hoping we’ll be playing there with the full band soon, too! We also have concerts scheduled from now into early June – every venue has precautions and protocols in place to ensure a COVID-safe environment, and I can’t even express the excitement I have to be able to play shows again; it’s my absolute favorite part of being a musician. I’m also very eager for people to hear “Running on Love.” I think there’s something for everyone on this EP.
Artist website: https://www.runkatierun.com/