20th March 2013

Units of Time Rather Than Chords


Katie Gately & The Knife

katie g two

(art is Full Face by Jordan Kasey)

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Katie Gately via the mediumship of her Schemawound remix. Katie is a student of sound design, and we immediately loved what one reader called her “beautiful, haunting, pitch black spirals”. We couldn’t have imagined her next move was going to be fierce, intricate, psychegressive (it’s a new word we just made, for stuff that delivers the transportive elements of psychedelia with a sort of car door-slamming aggression – well, stupider words have caught on. shoeegaze.) POP songs, but put it this way, if the new Knife album is even half this good then it will be amazing.

Not that Katie sounds like The Knife. Rather she’s as difficult to pigeonhole as Karin and Olof are – or at least were, until everyone else ripped Silent Shout off and left it for dead.

Katie’s Pop Pop collection is pop music that can’t sit still, is exploding with ideas. Sometimes it sounds overloaded with thoughts, which find literal expression in Katie’s dense Disco Inferno-like lattices of words. But then on other tracks her vocals pull back and space out, disassociating from the rhythms and finding unlikely companions in choirs of pitch-shifted and manipulated vocals – her voice made into marching, chirruping armies of munchkins, automatons, Substance D-stretched friend-apparitions.

katie g one

Sometimes her voice catches on a cadence that it likes, and wants to examine over and over again in her mouth, and the whole music seems to scroll back and forth just to indulge her. The accompaniments seem made out of mindgames with individual units of time rather than chords.

Y’all is the opening track. Every track is different, so you need to listen to all of them, but listen to this one first.

Katie Gately – Y’all

Listen to Pop Pop on Soundcloud


Epilogue -
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We ♥ your comments...

  1. This is 2nd-to-none. But has xxjfg’s love for the knife degraded somewhere? You don’t sound so optimistic about ‘Shaking the Habitual’. anyhow, Katie Gately does sound similar to the knife, for me it’s a middle-ground between ‘Tomorrow In A Day’ and Honey Is Cool’s more downtempo songs.

    Yours sincerely


    21st March 2013

  2. do you people spotify? you can mail if you don’t want to be revealed. it’s okay. it’s me! lol ([email protected])

    Yours sincerely


    21st March 2013

  3. Hmm, good point Pedram. I certainly didn’t intend to set-up some false oppositional stance between Katie and The Knife, although that is maybe how it reads. I can only speak for myself and not the other xxjfg entities who I drift in this continuum with, but I did wander away slightly from Karin and Olof’s various projects the more the imitative stuff began to rise. Clearly this wasn’t their fault, and very much a case of the whole “It’s not you, it’s me” thing, but I have enjoyed what I’ve heard so far of the new stuff and have high hopes for it. I guess it’s exciting to hear someone like Katie do something inventive and powerful using similar sonic tools and approach, rather than just someone creaming off the surface elements. In terms of Spotify, my codename is ‘xeroxboy’.


    Yours sincerely


    21st March 2013

  4. thank you Dave!

    Yours sincerely


    22nd March 2013

  5. Hey I am so glad folks are blogging Katie Gately I only just heard about her and am hooked… great stuff… thanks for posting!

    Yours sincerely


    16th September 2013

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