LP/DL Tri Angle Records TRI038
Release date: October 14
If the history of music has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the best musical moments are truly serendipitous—happy accidents that have more to do with chance or luck or simply making the most out of whatever you happen to have access to. In the case of LA-based electronic artist Katie Gately, the impulse to make music was born out of a profound curiosity and a deeply DIY aesthetic. Even though she is now set to release her full-length debut—the sprawling Color LP—Gately still gets the jitters when talking about her beautiful, densely layered music. “I still get so freaked out talking about my music,” she says. “It’s like, ‘Oh no, people think I know what I’m doing!’ It’s still so scary to me. The record is done and I still feel like I don’t know!”
On Color Gately has built seven maximalist electronic compositions based on the idea that more is more. Meticulously composed from layers of found sounds and manipulations of her own voice, Color pulses, lurches, and throbs with the excitement of a million barely-controlled ideas and the energy of a sped up cartoon. The cacophony of sounds could easily slide into chaos were it not for Gately’s uncanny knack for melody. Even at their wildest, songs like ‘Tuck’, ‘Sire’, and ‘Frisk’ all boast some sort of accessible emotional core—be it an earworm melody or the kind of winding, circular beat that becomes almost impossible not to hum or sing or feel.
As she explains it, the line at which the competing layers of textures and sounds become too much—or when the song is actually finished—is difficult to define. “It’s always about how much can I add before it just sounds too crazy. What’s the most obnoxious thing I can make the song do? How can I have it be just forty-nine percent obnoxious and fifty-one percent fun? I think there is a pretty consistent thread of wanting to honor both things–wanting to honor the aggressive, not pretty sounds, but then also singing and always including a melody to balance that.”