The LA-based artist’s Houndstooth debut, Loom, is a dedication to the passing of her mother.
Katie Gately is an artist we were eager to catch back at Moogfest 2018, being big fans of her Tri Angle LP, Color. The record’s combination of gothic darkness and almost Lady Gaga-level pop theatrics was a revelation, and surely promised a spectacular live show. Squeezing ourselves into Durham’s charming but cramped venue The Pinhook, we watched Gately set up all her own gear, silently, awkwardly rooting for her as she ran into a few snags that required troubleshooting with the sound techs.
After a few minutes Gately was underway, and it was intriguing to see her switch from her normal self to performer; from a being dictated by logic and stress to one of mystery and magic. The music emerged very slowly, unlike her previous album’s action-packed energy, gradually unfurling like a thundercloud into what I now recognize as her haunting, ten-minute new single “Bracer.” We were entranced, spellbound, and with the particular chemicals in our heads that day, honestly a little terrified.
There was little context for this dark performance then, even while chatting with her the next day on a chance encounter. It turns out Gately was dealing with the death of her mother, who passed that year after a cancer battle. This earth-shaking loss is the basis for her new album, Loom, out 2/14 on Houndstooth. Stream “Bracer” below, and pre-order the album here.
-photos by Clara Castle