Katie Gately's love of sound shines brighter than ever on her new LP, Loom. This beautiful collection was recorded during a period of deep sadness and grief for Gately, during her mother's sudden cancer diagnosis and immediately following her death.
Gately demonstrates immense talent in her ability to translate unspeakable pain into layered, dynamic sound collages. Live recordings of an earthquake are woven throughout the album, emblematic of the way the Earth shifts when one experiences such a profound loss. A feeling of heaviness ….
Four years since the release of Color, Katie Gately is back with a record just as heavy on vocal effects and harmonies, but which pushes things in a darker direction. There is also less sonic variety on display here, overpowering maximalism being her weapon of choice on all but a handful of shorter, interlude-like tracks. Waltz, appropriately, keeps to a steady 3/4 metre as abstract and ominous lyrics build the track to a fever pitch ("dance, dance, dance in a sofa made of coffin"), accompanied by instrumentation that melds folksy and electronic elements with aplomb.
Katie Gately's second album wasn't supposed to sound like this. The Los Angeles artist had nearly finished an entirely different record, with a different working title, but after receiving the devastating news that her mother had been diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer, Gately left that album behind. For a while, she left her life in L.A.
Death has always found a powerful voice in music. Artists create their own language of grief and loss that can supply comfort and catharsis in desperate times. The experimental musician Katie Gately wrote her second LP in the wake of her mother's passing from cancer in 2018; before the diagnosis, Gately had been working on a different album, which she subsequently abandoned.