I’ve got bad news for Katherine Penfold.
The Nova Scotia native is a self-described introvert, but with her latest album, Sweetest Thing, about to hit the universe in October and singles “Far Away” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love” already whetting appetites for the full release, it’s clear that she’s about to go through a life change that means those days of locking herself in the studio may be over.
“On one hand, I am super duper aware of how crazy lucky I am to do it and have the opportunity to put myself out there,” she said. “So it’s really exciting and it’s awesome. There’s an amazing part when I’ve had enough coffee, enough sleep and I’m eating properly and I can sit in that and feel the excitement and feel like, ‘let’s do this.’ But there are a lot of mornings when you’re just thinking, ‘Oh my God, why have I put myself in this position?’ (Laughs) It’s very vulnerable. So it’s got two heads and you never know which one you’re gonna wake up to.”
It only takes a few minutes in conversation with the singer/songwriter (who now calls Vancouver home) to realize that she’s going to be just fine. And if you add in the most important part of the equation — the music — there’s an understated confidence that comes out as she addresses the most personal of issues and emotions. In short, it’s the kind of album we need in a day and age where shouting is default mode for many artists. Penfold agrees, though she admits that she’s shouting as well — only in her own way.
“I am kind of shouting about something a little silently that runs underneath in every single person about the mental health in life and the struggles that we have personally and that is what then creates all of this huge stuff that’s on the news that we’re struggling with as a society,” she said. “I often beat myself up because I’m not super outspoken about politics. It might come to me one day. I hear from a lot of people that as you age you start not caring about what people think about what you say. (Laughs) But I have a lot to say about the steps that I feel come before all of that. And those are such personal stories in those songs and on the record. And I think a lot more of my records will probably be about the same thing as I grow as well.”
That doesn’t sound like an introvert to me.
“I’m an introvert who hermits away in my studio and hangs out with my dog and I listen to all the artists that I am obsessed with, but then I’m never sure if what I’m putting out works,” Penfold said. “All I know is it’s me and it’s what my gut says to put out, so that resonates a lot.”
That should be all that matters for any artist, so if she’s got that down, that’s 90 percent of the battle. The other 10 percent? Getting this show out on the road. Penfold admits that it’s scary every time she hits the stage, but if it wasn’t scary, it wouldn’t be such fun. And she’ll take those butterflies in the stomach every time for a chance to get out there and reach her audience.
“Every time I walk off the stage, I’ll think, ‘Why the hell did I just do that, that was terrifying,’” she laughs. “But I’ll go do it again because there’s a connection up there and I think we really need it these days. And I don’t know if I’m the right person to do it or not, but that’s what’s inside me. And maybe there’s a space in this world for some vulnerability and connecting with people on this level.”
For more information on Katherine Penfold, click here