Live dates, including shows with Cass McCombs, in October and November.
A hazy dusk falls on a crossroads somewhere between Gloucestershire and Bristol. A wooden signpost points in two directions: good ol’ fashioned country heartache to the left; effortless pop hooks to the right – and underneath, cross-legged on still-warm car bonnet, sits Katy J Pearson, strumming an acoustic guitar as she spins a tale of blossoming dancefloor romance.
‘Tonight’ is the product of scrapping everything and going back to basics – Katy’s first outing as a solo artist after a joint project with her brother ran its course. Writing for her own enjoyment and “no longer writing songs for men in suits, or trying to impress them”, the springy riffs and sweet, upbeat melody of ‘Tonight’ were gently coaxed into being in Katy’s home city of Bristol, in her own time and on her own terms; the antithesis of the fast-paced, surreal and London-centric blur of her previous musical career.
The first of a handful of songs written during solo sessions at community artist space Island Studios, ‘Tonight’ was later recorded with Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, M. Ward, Perfume Genius, Gruff Rhys) at his studio, Toy Box. Its premise is classic and universally relatable: the meeting of two people, be it in a club or anywhere else, and how they are made instantly more vulnerable by their romantic spark.
With its wheedling strings and warm production, ‘Tonight’ sounds more tinged by the South Western states of America than the South West of England. But any country inclination is happily accidental, says Pearson – it just kind of happened. “People said I was sounding quite country and I hadn’t even realised – my eyes were opened!”
For its physical 7” release, the fizzing anticipation of new love captured on ‘Tonight’ is perfectly counterbalanced with a tender and soulful B-side ballad – a cover of M. Ward’s ‘Poison Cup’. Though similarly romantically-inclined with a softly-country-round-the-edges vibe, ‘Poison Cup’ sees Pearson strip instrumental accompaniment way back, allowing her striking voice to take the front seat, and further cementing the message: here is Katy J Pearson in her most undiluted form.
‘Tonight’ is also accompanied by a fantastically engaging video directed by Conan Roberts + Jake McGowan (Unfolding Films) and shot on Dartmoor and the Devon coast.
Finally, Katy heads out to play some shows in October and November, including a run with Cass McCombs. The full list of dates is as follows:
14th Oct – Brighton, Komedia (Studio)*
15th Oct – London, Lexington*
16th Oct – Bristol, Louisiana*
17th Oct – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds*
18th Oct – Manchester, Yes (Basement)*
19th Oct – Oxford, Ritual Union
20th Oct – Cardiff, Swn
5th Nov – Madrid, Teatro Lara^
6th Nov – Cadiz, Edificio Constitución 1812^
7th Nov – Porto, CCOP^
9th Nov – Lisbon, ZBD Gallery^
11th Nov – Barcelona, La Nau^
13th Nov – Zurich, Rote Fabrik^
14th Nov – Cologne, Bumann & SOHN^
15th Nov – Utrecht, Cloud 9^
17th Nov – Brighton, One Church^
18th Nov – Bristol, St George’s^
19th Nov – Dublin, Button Factory^
20th Nov – Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall^
21st Nov – Manchester, Dancehouse Theathre^
* – w/ Olden Yolk
^ – w/ Cass Mccombs