Q&A | Radie Peat & Katie Kim

“Strangely I feel with these lockdowns and time away from work and playing live, it’s encouraged me to realize I really missed just listening.” – Katie Kim

What’s the last song you listened to?

Katie: The last track on Mica Levi’s new album Ruff Dog, Ride Till We Die. It just came out today and it’s glorious.

Radie: Leonard Cohen ‘Master Song

What artist or album has gotten you through lockdown the most?

Katie: Many. Lots of Dean Blunt. Dome, Mica Levi ( Monos Soundtrack, the Brother May _ Micachu Archives 2008-2014 & Micachu and The Shapes Live w/ the London Sinfonietta in particular) Lucinda Chua. Robert Wyatt. Oneohtrix Point Never. Haxan Cloak. Kim Gordon’s No Home Record. I Listened to New Magic Wand by Tyler The Creator 1000 times this year. Speed to my side by rollerskate skinny was a bit of an anthem for me when I had to come home from New York and quarantine in the Irish countryside for 2 months alone. Basinski and more broadly Maria Somerville’s NTS mixes have kept me mentally and musically fed. 

Radie: Like Katie I found myself with more time to listen to music than I had in years, and used it as a way to process a lot of what was going on. The ones that really helped were Beak, Xylouris White, Weyes Blood, Anna Von Hausswolf, Enya, ABBA (believe it or not), Scott Walker, Portishead, Tommy Potts, Moondog, Mary Delaney, Andy the Doorbum, Sibylle Baier, Beth Gibbons with Rustin Man, Silver Apples, Ted Hawkins, Abner Jay, an album called Plantasia by Mort Garson, Stick in the Wheel and of course Leonard Cohen. Also, it’s not an artist or album but the clips Dust to Digital have been putting up on instagram have saved many’s the day for me in 2020. 

“It would probably be impossible to assemble this group of people in a normal year, given everybody’s different projects, so I feel very lucky that we can do this. “ – Radie Peat

What’s influencing your music right now?

Katie: Listening to music again. Strangely I feel with these lockdowns and time away from work and playing live, it’s encouraged me to realize I really missed just listening. I hadn’t enthusiastically listened or searched for new music or music new to me, in any significant way in years. It made me question why I hadn’t. It sounds a bit dramatic and silly but I got really emotional! Not being distracted by the news or a series or my phone and just listening to music again, I realised how much I missed it. It’s therapy really. 

Radie: It’s hard to say, probably all of the things I’ve listed there and also the arrangements Shirley and Dolly Collins did together. I’ve also been looking into Appalachian Folk music a lot recently and have definitely gotten into more ‘escapist’ type music. It’s been great to have the time to really think about it all and explore potential sources of inspiration. 

You’ll be doing a live audio visual event for Nollaig na mBan next month. How did the idea and concept of event come about?

Katie: Jon Pearson of Islander initially came up with the idea of Radie and I working together. We knew each other a good bit through mates and I loved everything she did musically and that voice! but I think we were both a bit apprehensive. Our styles and voices were so contrasting. But we came together to start working and it instantly clicked. I loved doing those two shows but with our schedules it just wasn’t possible to do any more. 2 years later, there’s suddenly time on our hands so no better time to be able to expand and build musically and visually on the foundations we built. 

Radie: After mine and Katie’s collaboration in 2018, which we only got to perform twice, we didn’t want to let it go there. But of course, we were both so busy with other musical projects that it wasn’t realistic to continue. When we ended up living around the corner from each other this year with loads of time we just naturally started talking about it again and going back to the material. Slowly the idea for the Livestream came together. We were both certain that we wanted Ellie from the get go, as we had both worked with her before and were really excited about how she could expand this with us. She is just amazing at what she does and has brought the songs into new worlds and shaped it with us into something unique. The addition of John ‘Spud’ Murphy and Vicky Langan has really been the icing on the cake. It would probably be impossible to assemble this group of people in a normal year, given everybody’s different projects, so I feel very lucky that we can do this. 

What can people expect musically and visually from the event? 

Katie: it’s difficult to describe for me honestly. The addition of synthetic elements and percussion has changed the sound significantly. We both played with Ellie (Percolator) before. She’s just a phenomenal drummer. She tends to go places rhythmically you don’t initially think it can go. She opens up a broader narrative. So, having her on board has completely changed the mood. It’s very exciting. I don’t think myself or Radie get to play live with drummers very often. I’m reluctant to say more than that. And visually I’m just extremely excited Vickys on board. I’m a huge fan of her work. We’ll have to wait and see how it all comes together. 

Radie: It’s very hard to describe, you’ll have to watch it to know…

Radie Peat & Katie Kim’s audio / visual collaborative event for Nollaig na mBan will take place at 8pm  on Wednesday 6th January. Tickets on sale now here.