INTERVIEW: Kat Edwards

With just a guitar in hand, Kat Edwards mesmerised me while she opened for Gretta Ray in June. Her storytelling was honest and relatable, and there was a vivid vulnerability that captured everyone’s attention immediately. Acoustically performing a mix of old and new songs, the Tasmania based singer-songwriter was undeniably special. Her new EP ‘Best Bad News’ (out now) is a body of work that is intended to re-introduce herself to listeners, and satisfy the audiences who fell in love with her voice at those shows. 

I chatted to Kat Edwards about how her new EP ‘Best Bad News’ feels like a reintroduction to who she is as an artist, discussed touring with Gretta Ray, and explored the creative process behind songs like ‘Growing Pains’ and ‘Pretty Dancer’. Check out the full chat BELOW;

THOMAS BLEACH: Your new EP ‘Best Bad News’ is a re-introduction body of work that is vulnerable, honest, and intimate. What is the most surprising thing you think listeners are going to hear or learn about you on this EP? 

KAT EDWARDS: Perhaps that I struggle with social anxiety, which is what ‘Loser’ is written about. I feel like it’s almost comical that I can perform on stage and have no issues, but when it comes to going grocery shopping I struggle. 

TB: You’ve described this EP as a rebirth for you. Where in the process of writing these tracks did you realise that it felt like this for you? And was there a shift in your creativity from that point forward? 

KE: Totally, I think I just started to let go of the need to control everything in the recording sessions, particularly after working with Dylan. After we created ‘Safety’ there was a level of friendship and trust that was built between us. It just made it easy to relax a bit. I think by relaxing these ‘rules’ that I had subconsciously put in place, my music was able to grow and evolve with me over time. I didn’t really feel the need to stick to one particular sound/genre anymore. 

TB: ’Pretty Dancer’ is a summer-tinged guitar and drum led track that immediately stands out. Can you explain the creative process behind this track? 

KE:  At the time of writing this track I was listening to a lot of Andy Shauf, which I think if you’re a fan of his work, you can hear reflected in my choice of chords. I had been playing it live with my band before I brought it to Dylan, so a lot of the arrangements and ideas had already been formed. We recorded it quite a while ago now but from what I can remember it was a super quick and easy process. 

TB: Title track ‘Best Bad News’ has this really smooth hook that hears you confessing “why am I running when you’re the best bad news I’ve ever had”. Can you explain the story behind this particular lyric?

KE: At the time of writing ‘Best Bad News’ I was trying to casually date since my past relationship. I felt unsure and to be honest, a little fearful to put myself out there again. What I’m trying to get across with that lyric is, why am I running away from something that could be a really enjoyable moment for me? What’s the worst that could happen? 

TB: ‘Growing Pains’ feels like the EP’s pinnacle moment with its honest storytelling. Where are you taken emotionally and physically when you hear this song back? 

KE: ‘Growing Pains’ is definitely a song where it transports me back every time I play or listen to it. It was pretty hard to write because I was in the midst of my breakup with my first long term relationship. I think it was my way of making sense of the situation. It just takes me back to that time where everything felt so uncertain and the pain I felt from growing up and apart from someone/something. The sadness of realising some things just aren’t working anymore.

TB: What song went through the most versions to get it to where it is now on the EP? And why?

KE: Probably ‘Don’t Call Me’ and ‘Good Girl’, both of these were recorded twice. It was my first time in a studio so I think I just didn’t know exactly what I wanted to sound like. I was still finding my sound. 

TB: You recently toured with Gretta Ray, where you stripped everything back to just you and a guitar. Do you feel like any of the songs from the EP take on a different identity for you when they are performed this way? 

KE: Yes, that was an amazing tour. I actually really enjoy playing solo to the right crowds, and thankfully I had wonderful audiences at those shows. I find that I can really connect to people with the lyrics and feeling. I feel like all the songs become a bit more emotional and the words can sink a bit deeper. 

TB: What is one of your favourite memories or experiences that happened on the Gretta Ray run of dates?

KE: Playing in Fremantle. That audience was incredible, I got them to sing with me for a very new song of mine, and they were so receptive and LOUD! So fun! Also everyone on her touring team, including Gretta, were so lovely to be around. I really miss everyone from that tour :’)

TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid first questions about the EP, are you ready?

KE: Hit me!

TB: The emoji that best describe my new EP ‘Best Bad News’ is…

KE: The melting smiley face.

TB: The song I’m most looking forward to performing live would be…

KE: ‘Growing Pains’! My band does the most beautiful backing vocals!

TB: The song that nearly didn’t make the EP was…

KE: ‘Don’t Call Me’.

TB: The lyric that hurts my heart to hear back is…

KE: ‘I feel like a loser when I’m standing in the shop line’.

TB: The song I’d want you to play first from the EP for your friends if they’ve never heard of me would be…

KE: ‘Safety’.

‘Best Bad News’ is out now!