After relocating to London from Canada, Cate has embraced the chaotic journey that one can go on during the coming of age moments between your teen years and “adulthood”. Allowing herself to fall in love, have her heartbroken, make mistakes, and do whatever her head and heart tell her is good at the time, she is unapologetically and authentically who she wants to be.
Embracing that sentiment on her debut EP ‘Love, The Madness’ she has penned a beautifully warm and reflective collection of tracks that introduces who she is as an artist, while also serving an intriguing palette of ear worm hooks and deep emotions. She creates a celebration of not knowing what you’re meant to be doing, and it’s so empowering and humbling to hear.
I recently chatted to Cate about the inspiration that the UK has had on her music, dived into the creative process behind songs like ‘Funny Story’, ‘4AM’ and ‘Heavyweight’, and found out about the worst party that she’s ever been to. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your debut EP ‘Love, The Madness’ is a reflective journey on your transition into adulthood. From before you started writing these songs, to having now released this EP, do you think you have any more of an understanding of what it means to be an “adult”?
CATE: Absolutely not, but I think from writing this EP I was able to understand myself a bit more! I definitely learned to accept the chaos, and not be so hard on myself for not having my shit together.
TB: You moved from Canada to the UK which in my opinion has one of the most exciting music scenes in the world. So how did the change of locations have an impact on your sound with this EP? Did you discover any British acts that newly inspired you?
C: OMG yes! I have always been obsessed with British pop ever since my early obsession with One Direction and Little Mix *laughs*. But the EP was mostly written in Canada in my bedroom, and my roommate Tessa’s music room, and then produced in lockdown with my other roommate Cian!
I’ve always been inspired by UK artists though. Amy Winehouse was the person who inspired me to start writing when I was 12. And we ended up moving to Camden so that was a really cool full circle moment.
TB: ’Funny Story’ is a song that immediately stood out to me on the EP as it heard you perfectly embracing the sentiment of making mistakes to learn who you are as a person. So do you mind explaining the creative process behind this track?
C: Wow, thank you!! That song is my personal favourite. ‘Funny Story’ is exactly as it seems. So Tessa and I were invited to this small Halloween party last year. We went to a JP Saxe show before the party started, and to not look crazy for the concert we ended changing into our costumes in the washroom of the venue. We dressed up like Avril Lavigne stage 1+ 2. We also ended up trying Hennesy for the first time, which you could only assume how that went.
All we remembered the next day was sticking our heads out the window, and sudden flashes from the night, which make up the whole chorus and verse 2. Then we woke up the next morning and wrote it!
TB: ’4AM’ was a little cheekier with its lyrical delivery as it explored wanting to spend time with someone even though you know that they have a girlfriend and there’s some chemistry there. Was it harder/more vulnerable to release this song because it quite vividly explains a situation involving someone else, over a song like ‘Heavyweight’?
C: 4AM is interesting as well, because I know it doesn’t sound like it, but it’s not about someone with a girlfriend! It’s about someone being so hung over their ex, but still wanting them anyways. Like knowing you’re the second choice, but accepting it just to get a small moment with them. Which is so sad compared to the production and melodies! But yes totally, I think ‘4AM’ was slightly harder to release, because I’m pretty comfortable with confessional songs like ‘Heavyweight’, but ‘4AM’ was a weird vulnerability I wasn’t used to.
TB: ’Pity Party’ hears you declaring the iconic line, “I’m throwing a party, and no it’s not a pity party”, and let’s be real, no one wants to be involved with a pity party. So what is the worst party you’ve ever attended?
C: Oh god, umm, honestly it might be the first new years party I went to in high school. New years are always so hit or miss for me. There’s so many expectations and I feel even if it’s a good party, it’ll never live up to them. Also that party was the first party I drank at, ever, so you could imagine how that went.
TB: ’Heavyweight’ is what I described as the ‘Liability’ moment of the EP, as it is emotionally candid. What is your favourite, or the most emotional, lyric for you from this song?
C: Wow thank you, that’s the biggest compliment ever! I love the second verse. I think the “I’m sorry I was so reckless. Remember when you used to like this?” line is my favourite right now.
I didn’t think about it much when I wrote it down, but listening back it kinda hurt. It’s just that whole Manic Pixie Dream Girl thing. I think being reckless and fun has an expiration when you’re seeing certain people, and then it turns into being a burden. So yeah that line hurt *laughs*.
TB: Reflecting on the creative process of the EP, what song took the longest to hone and define it’s sound?
C: ‘Heavyweight’ for sure. That one took a while because we wanted it to be so perfect. There’s SO many vocal layers in that song I can’t even begin to count. It’s the most emotional song on the EP, so we wanted it to stand out sonically just as much as it did lyrically for me.
TB: This lockdown period has inspired some people to pick up a new hobby, or find a weird new obsession. So what has been something you’ve picked up or obsessed over during this period?
C Omg I re-watched all of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and started to photoshop. That’s all I did in quarantine, other than music.
TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions, you ready?
TB: The emoji that best describes my EP ‘Love, The Madness’ is…
C: The sad cowboy hat face!
TB: A TV show I’ve binged during lockdown has been…
C: Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Homeland!
TB: My morning ritual involves…
C: Coffee, and calling my mom
TB: When I think of Australia I think of…
C: Kangaroos and Finding Nemo *laughs*
TB: Pineapple on pizza is…
C: Not THAT bad, but still not a fan!
‘Love, The Madness’ is out now!