Having just come back to California from playing Iceland Airwaves Music Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland, (live recordings from those shows are now available for free download on Soundcloud), we share a chat with Kim Kylland (vocals, piano, guitar, musical saw) from Ghost Town Jenny to talk about her band’s inspirations and plans for 2013!
S] What, or who are your great musical inspirations?
KK] “We have lots of musical inspirations as a band, but the ones we share are cinema, obscure folk music (‘Latcho Drom’ is one of our favorite films), old soul and R&B music, and traveling…the different landscapes we have seen are immensely inspiring. Also, Corey is a classically trained violinist who is very moved by Shostakovich, Brahms and Beethoven. He has really brought a lot of his classical background into our band, which sometimes influences the way I write, or the way we arrange our songs.”
S] What about personally, what kinds of themes and ideas can inspire your songs?
KK] “The dreams that I’ve been having are a huge inspiration to me as of late. What inspires me always changes though. It can be the people I meet while we are travelling, or the book I am reading. One day it’s bright california sunshine, the next day it’s the ghosts that I think live in my house. It’s pretty vast.”
S] What song that you are working on right now best defines your sound, and why?
KK] “I think our new song ‘Cast Off’ really exemplifies and defines our sound…it’s weird, almost genre-less, and has an overall melancholic and ethereal quality to it, but still contains a bright resolution in the form of three chords which constantly cascades through it and lifts the mood back up. It’s a song that is both dark and light. When people ask us what kind of music we play, I call it “cinematic soul” because I like to think it transports you away from your current situation, but can also really root itself into your everyday life.”
S] Do you have a message for any UK fans?
KK] “We love you guys! and we are heading to your neck of the woods for a small tour in fall of 2013 (in Ireland and the UK) and we cannot wait to play for all of you! Details for the tour will be posted on our Facebook page as soon as the dates are finalised, so please keep an eye out. One of the greatest joys for me is meeting the people who are moved by the music we make, and I love it when fans come talk to us after the performances. So please don’t be shy if you see us off-stage – come say ‘hello!’”
S] What can people expect from your live show?
KK] “We really try to put everything we’ve got into our live shows. It’s very raw, emotional, and sometimes very bare. I think you can expect music that will move you. In the near future you can also expect more new songs. Aside from the songs we are working on for our upcoming album, we are incorporating a cover from ‘Twin Peaks’ into our set. I won’t say which one…you will just have to come to the shows to find out!”
S] What are some of your biggest challenges right now?
KK] “Just finding the means to keep touring and recording can be sort of difficult sometimes since we are a small independent band. I am hopeful that we will find the right label in the future though, or maybe some rich old lady who loves our music will want to pay for us to make records. I would be fine with either of those options really, so long as we get to keep sharing our music with more people, in more countries.”
S] What’re your plans as we move into 2013?
KK] “Well, in addition to planning many more shows, we are working on getting our debut album finished. To us, it’s the most important thing right now, since nothing we have recorded – I feel – really represents the live sound we have created. Plus for a long time, Ghost Town Jenny was just my solo project, but now with our band we have created our own sonic world. I look forward to having recordings out that sound similar to what we are creating on stage. It would be lovely for people to be able to take a bit of our live shows home with them.”