Sound & Vision with Katie Malco

Since the release of Creatures in September 2019 – her first single for 6131 Records (Julien Baker, Worriers), Katie Malco has been building towards the release of her debut album, Failures – her first full release since the Tearing Ventricles EP (Alcopop! Records) in 2013. Informed by friendships, breakups, the crutch of substances and anxiety makes her new single, Fractures, an emotionally arresting listen.

Having toured with Julien Baker, Bob Mould and Jenny Lewis, Malco’s debut LP is out on 5th June. These are Katie Malco’s Sound & Vision picks:

Three albums I love:

Joanna Newsom – Ys

I often tell people this is my favourite album of all time. It soothes me when I can’t sleep and my mind is racing; I feel like I know every nook and cranny of this album, in all its mad intricacies. It’s very different to anything I would ever write, and maybe that’s why I find it so fascinating. The words are shrouded in complex metaphors and it takes patience and time to unpick them and find meaning within, and once you do, it’s clear how ingenious Joanna Newsom is. She’s a total master of her art.

Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

This record was in my top 10 albums of all time within a week of hearing it. Julien’s music really speaks to me – I feel very connected to it in a way that I think is really rare and hard to come by. There’s so much soul in her voice. You really feel like she’s releasing a great deal of pent up angst when she sings. There’s something very distinctly human in the way she expresses herself.

Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Feel The Illnoise

The first Sufjan Stevens song I ever heard was the title track of this album when I was at college, and it stopped me in my tracks. I had never heard anything like it before – it sounded like a musical, but with the most softly spoken lead ever, which is such a crazy juxtaposition. His voice sounded so clean and pure to me, like freshly washed linen. After that, I became a massive fan of his previous records, and have pretty much been in love with everything he’s done since.

One Important Film:

Call Me By Your Name

This film is just beautiful – the central relationship is so complicated yet easy to understand, the characters are written so perfectly, it’s shot beautifully and I think it’s the most romantic film ever. There’s a monologue between Elio and his dad that would make even the toughest person weep. It just captures the essence of confusion in coming of age and developing adult feelings for the first time, all in the space of one summer. And when you’re very young, a summer feels like a lifetime.

One book I always goes back to:

Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed

Somebody recommended this book to me when I was going through the toughest break up of my life, and I read it three times back to back. The book isn’t about that – it’s a collection of anon advice columns, about all sorts of different problems, and some of which are very specific and probably don’t apply to you, the reader. Yet, the advice Cheryl Strayed gives each one will resonate with you in ways you can’t even fathom. You will realise things about yourself you never even thought about before. I found that so interesting – I had never read any kind of life advice book before this, nor thought about some of the stuff it made me think about.

One Important Song:

David Bazan – Curse Your Branches

 I was a Christian when I was a child, then I revisited faith again as a teenager for a brief period. I really didn’t know myself or what I truly believed, and it didn’t take that long for me to sack it off and find other – less healthy ways – of trying to find out who I was. Bazan openly battled with his faith and alcoholism, and this whole album has this theme running through it, which really resonated with me when I first heard it. Not to mention, this song itself is so beautifully sombre, even if I didn’t feel a connection to it in the way described, I would still love it for what it is – an amazing song, sung by an amazing vocalist who I really admire.

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