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(Credits: Far Out / H Hawkline)


Playlist: Katy J Pearson on the music that shaped her second masterpiece

Katy J Pearson is manna from heaven amid these troubled times. With cognisance her music does what music does best—it joyfully proclaims that bliss doesn’t have to be ignorant and there will always be something to sing about. Albeit this output seems to sit perfectly in the sun-kissed poppy pocket of indie-folk, it is so seamless and natural sounding, like musical laughter, that asking her what’s behind it is like asking a blackbird what is making his chirps sound like that.

This is why garnering her inspirations is so pertinent, because aside from the beleaguered Dr Doolittle, who wouldn’t want to know that? We caught up with her off the back of a gruelling Glastonbury weekend that contrastingly left her beaming to discuss the music that made Sound of the Morning soar, on the eve of solidifying her best new artists status with a sophomore masterpiece. 

Like most of us, her music interest first began with an artist that she was barely conscious of liking. “I think when I was really little I used to listen to loads of Stacie Orrico. I couldn’t remember what I listened to when I was really young for ages, then suddenly I remembered listening to her when I was like eight,” she tells me. 

Then comes that second moment where a door is opened and the horizons of your life change—the wallop of that first musical love that goes beyond the platonic playground reverie of something to throw on while you play and strikes a notable note in your growing individualism. “The music that really got me thinking, ‘Right, I really want to write music’ was people like Amy Winehouse,” she explains.

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“I was a huge fan of Amy Winehouse in my teenage years. And I discovered Kate Bush when I was 12 and then that was it. I was obsessed. I listened to her records all the time. Anytime I came back from school, there was a record player in my room, and I would put it on.”

With Bush came a delve into the past and further old influences came to the fore. “When I heard Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that was a real game-changer for me,” she continues.  “Especially when I heard Déjà vu, that record has a very special place in my heart, and I think the depth of the songwriting was overwhelming for me and it dawned that these were really amazing songs.”

Naturally, her parents had a say too. “My dad was a huge Beatles fan. So, every summer holiday from like seven or eight we would choose a Beatles album and I would go camping for four or five weeks every summer and we would just listen to it. So, you would really get to know the record,” she added. 

Now, Katy J Pearson is rightfully in the same realm as some of these greats, even if she might not thank me for reporting her comical misfortune this time out. “I’m a huge fan of Ram by Paul McCartney. I went to see him at Glastonbury, but I really needed a wee, so I missed the second half of the set, because I was just like, ‘I really don’t want to be that person that wets themselves in front of Paul McCartney’. So, I just thought I have to get out of here,” she recalled with a laugh. 

Not long back, appearing at Glastonbury wasn’t even a pipedream. However, after the buzz of music in a cultural sense first presented itself, Katy J Pearson, like all of us, was hungry to get involved. Thus, the first band she could fangirl over came to a stage nearby. “Then I heard the Maccabees and I really got into them,” she continued. “They were one of the first ones where I’d go to see all of their gigs.”

Now, she really is rubbing shoulders with them. Their frontman Orlando Weeks is such a fan that his new music could easily be said to share a kinship with Katy’s. In fact, he even recruited her services for his latest album Hop Up. “The new Orlando Weeks record is lush. It’s so good. It’s such a pleasure to be part of it and to get to sing on it and sing live with him sometimes. It’s lovely,” she happily declares. 

And that leads us on to the modern slew of masters and reissues from the past that linger in the welter of Sound of the Morning’s sumptuous sound. “I adore Cate Le Bon. Aldous Harding I also think is fantastic. I love Vashti Bunyan, I’ve been listening to a lot of her recently. I really love Metronomy, I’m a big fan of theirs. And I’ve been listening to a lot of Arthur Russell, so I think those have kind of been the main pool of things that I’ve been listening to,” she concludes. 

You can read our full interview with Katy J Pearson on her new album, influences, inspirations, fashion, Bristol, future plans and more in tomorrow’s Far Out Meets piece. But for now, enjoy the curated playlist below and keep looking ahead to Friday (July 8th) when you get to bask in the beauty of Sound of the Morning

Playlist: The music that inspired Katy J Pearson’s Sound of the Morning:

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