JW3, North London
It seems fitting that this launch show for Kathryn’s new album ‘Hypoxia’ based on characters from Slyvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ should find her slightly on edge, nervous, uncertain but capable of articulating those concerns wonderfully. If we wanted icily cool, detached and studied perfection we wouldn’t get the warmth, vulnerability and humanity that Kathryn gives this material. Clearly nervous about playing these songs for the first time outside her own head or the studio, she settles us and herself in with three tracks from my personal album of 2013 ‘Crown Electric’ which is the same year she was given the commission to write these songs.
She has risen to the challenge wonderfully with a set that is spiky, woozy and at times claustrophobic. Like the book’s protagonist, Esther, her lyrics show a fractured sense of self, a nervous energy along with an acceptance of the comfort of medicated blackness. I’m not sure if you get or understand the songs more if you have read The Bell Jar (which I did again recently, almost in preparation for the album) but Kathryn spoke a little about each one, something I hope she continues » Continue Reading.