Born in California, raised in Nevada, and now living in Ohio, Kat Brennan has had a bumpy road that has led her through many challenges in her life. But she is strong and has overcome some tough obstacles and has landed with both feet on the ground standing tall. In my opinion, when a song can come to you to write instead of you writing a song for the sake of writing a song, that is what defines a true musician. Kat doesn't write a song simply to create music, but the song finds her. These days this is a rare thing and lucky for us, she is sharing her songs with her new EP.
With her acoustic in her hand, she’ll take you on a journey telling the stories of her life through her music. “Maybe” is a song that finds one on a journey of not really knowing where one is going, but that’s okay with her. She knows she’ll be on the right path even if she doesn’t know where that path will lead her. “Winter Comes” is a dark bluesy story that is better heard than explained by some music reviewer.
One thing apparent as the songs flow through my speakers is the musicianship and ability to tell stories almost effortlessly. A modern day Johnny Cash perhaps.
“Scars” introduces us the punk side of Kat while still remaining subtle letting the story of trying to get to know someone who doesn't want to be known. “Just Fly” is a beautiful, positive song that takes you on a journey all in its own. Kat not only shows she can play guitar, but her sense of songwriting is near perfect and she can inspire those going through rough times to fly! Another quality that is rare, the ability to relate to those who listen.
The album closes with the song “Not Only”. Another beautiful song that I will let you, my readers, listen to and translate for yourselves. Just know, by the end of your songs you will be covered in goosebumps!
I was able to ask Kat a few questions to help everyone get to know her by her own words. Here is what she had to say….
When did you start playing music and what brought you to where you are now in your musical journey?
I've been musical my entire life. Started with a kids organ when I was 3 lol. But as for guitar - my godfather Joel put the first guitar in my hands. Taught me my first chords. He was the one who supported what I do the most. He was a very special man. Then when I met my ex - when I was 15 - he took music away from me. He used to tell me not even to hum, that my voice was awful, and he sold or smashed my guitars. After he smashed my SG and stabbed all the speakers in my Marshall stack last winter, I finally left. And for the first time in my life, I started singing. And picked up an acoustic. This was February of last year. Ever since then, I've been writing like crazy. Great friends, great support, lots of musical support from many many different angles. I have a great group here. The community around me really helped me to do what I'm doing now. Gave me the platform to run a weekly open mic night, and help to meet and book and promote for many musicians. And to perform. My first 4 gigs were by invite. I never thought I would book anything, or even try to do anything more. I just did music for myself. My EP was actually done originally to give my buddy something for his recording portfolio lol. And everything else has just fallen together piece by piece.
What is the songwriting process like for you?
I usually start with a mood, or a single line. Or one riff. And then when I'm in the right mood, sitting alone somewhere, I can feel it coming. Whatever it is, that creativity, I can feel it when it starts to flow. I have learned to turn on my laptop to record it and catch it, because normally stuff just starts flowing improv. I can go back and review it later. I'm not one of those that can say "I want to write a song about this." And typically my songs end somewhere very very different from where I start. I often play songs out while I'm still writing them too, lol, and improv through the parts that aren't set yet. Then let it settle on its own over time.
.Which do you enjoy the most...Recording or Performing? or Both and why?
Performing. Hands down. I completely immerse myself in that. I'm a visceral person. Everything for me is about sensory input. When I'm on stage, everything takes over. I usually play and sing with my eyes closed - unintentionally. It just happens. And everything pours out of me from the bottom of my toes out through my mouth, everything, every drop.
Which song on your new EP sticks out to you the most and why?
I feel very personally attached to every song I write. Each song has its own story, usually not what you think it is haha. My Only was actually written as a spiteful song. I had started to write it when I was dating a guy, and he picked at it and didn't like it. When we broke up, finishing it was my big F U lol. But Scars is probably my fav. I actually started writing it one day when my kids went back to their dad's. I was hit with this huge wave of sadness, and I was sitting on my bed, and that lick had been dancing through my fingers for a couple of days... the words just started flowing. Then it turned into a different story, but through a lot of my music, you can hear bits of me missing my kids. And on that song, I love the notes at the end. They are really fun to pull out on people. They come out of nowhere, and its one of my fav songs to play in front of new faces. Unexpected.
When you listen back to your album, what feelings do you feel as you listen to it?
Every song's story. “Maybe” for example was written when one of my best friends and I are were both having a rough night and wanted to run away together. So I think of that moment, that night, that emotion. Each song inspires something. “Just Fly” makes me incredibly homesick.... I'm originally from Lake Tahoe, CA, and grew up in Carson Valley, NV, at the foot of the mountains. That song brings up images of home for me. “My Only” reminds me of summer bonfires beneath the stars with friends. And the feeling of wanting someone to be near. Wanting someone to really see me. And “Winter Comes” was a night when I felt especially poetic, and once again, was deeply deeply missing my children. It was right at the beginning of winter, and they were gone again... I was feeling guilty over asking for my divorce just because of what it’s done to my kids. And guilty for being happier about life while they are so broken...
Who would you say are your influences both musically and non-musical?
Friends. Family. My kids. Guys that I've dated. My ex - unfortunately - has given me a lot of fodder lol. Those that support me really inspire me. And honestly, I get the most inspiration from my environment internally and externally. I like dim lighting, quiet space, time to focus on whatever mood it is that I'm in and concentrate it.
What's next for you musically? New album? Shows?
Well, my next project is to help those friends of mine that record, and to show another side of my music. This demo only has 5 of almost 30 originals. And a lot of music gets gritty or faster paced. I like punk and blues, and that shows a lot in some of my other stuff. So next up is an eclectic 5 song mix, each recorded/produced by a diff friend. A little more fun, a lot more energetic, just as raw. And at the moment, I've got some opportunities on the horizon... we will see what will pan out in the end.
I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and letting me share your music with everyone. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Just that I couldn't be more thankful for everyone that has supported me and pushed me to be where I am. Nothing in my life would be what it is without those I love.
There is no doubt the talent, musicianship, her family, friends, and support will take Kat on a journey she belongs on. Some stars were meant to shine brighter than others. Do yourself a favor and show your support to Kat Brennan. We all will be looking forward to everything she accomplishes as she takes this new journey in her life. It may not be an easy one but something tells me she will come out on top, shining brighter than all.