Nashville-based/Austin-raised singer/songwriter KATE CLARK turns the challenges of the past into cathartic music that is bright, bold, and soulful. The emerging country artist movingly illustrates this with her new and third single “Last Names,” in which she examines the fractured relationship she had with her late father. Listen here to the song, released today (April 30) via all streaming platforms, and watch the video, directed by Logan Christopher for Stormlight Pictures, here. An early supporter of the video is CMT: http://www.cmt.com/cmt-music-
In “Last Names,” co-written by KATE and Devin Malone and Katie Malone, she vividly sets the scene of when her father left the family and its after-effects:
Growing up, KATE’s life seemed to unfold like a country song. Her father drank a lot, ultimately leaving the family when Kate was young. Raised by a single mom in Austin, she bonded with her absentee dad during his brief visits to town, when the two would ride around the Texas hill country in his truck. Sometimes, they’d talk. Other times, they’d just listen to music. Songs by George Strait, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings became the unofficial soundtrack to those father/daughter joyrides. Decades later, Kate still remembers how that music made her feel.
“Country music was something I shared with my dad,” she explains. “It was our thing. It made us both feel like we were part of some bigger picture, when there wasn’t anything else we could be a part of. My dad consumed country music like it was water—the water he needed to survive and to help dilute the demons behind the alcohol. We both connected with it, and that helped us connect with each other.”
Because “Last Names” is “so personal,” KATE says “I really wanted to keep the video simple. I wanted the lyrics to carry the weight of the story, not so much the visuals. I had been wanting to shoot with Logan Christopher for over five years, and I just knew, and trusted he could achieve the complex simplicity I was dreaming of.”
As KATE explains, “The video was shot in a charming house located in East Nashville. The house was full of country charm and felt like it belonged on a piece of property where your only neighbors are the horses, cows, and songbirds. The vibe and aesthetic is very soft and reflective. The sun was pouring in through the windows as I got lost reminiscing through old family photos spread out over the couch and coffee table. The video wouldn’t be complete without a shot of me in a rocking chair on the front porch. I had a moment on set after the director asked me to take a seat in the rocking chair and the music started playing where I just about lost it. I flashed back to seeing my mother in an old rocking chair that sat on our back porch crying. I couldn’t help but feel a full circle moment. The emotions that arise when you really understand and accept your past are incredible. An overwhelming sense of peace was the last thing I expected to receive. I’m forever grateful for this shoot.”
“Last Names” follows KATE’s first two singles: the debut “No Halo” (2/26/21) and “Wonderwall” (3/26/21), her distinctive cover of Oasis’ classic 1995 hit. All three songs were produced by David Lyndon Huff, who did the same honors for the Doobie Brothers’ multi-artist tribute album Southbound, that featured Zac Brown Band and Vince Gill, and who’s the younger brother of renowned Nashville producer Dann Huff.
“Last Names” shows that KATE CLARK is an artist gifted with an expressive, elastic voice matched with her sharp yet vulnerable sense of songwriting. This is her own brand of hook-filled country music, rooted in rich storytelling and the stories themselves may be sourced from her own life, but they’re applicable to anyone who, like Kate, has worked to turn obstacles into opportunities.
KATE plans to keep the excitement building throughout 2021; the singer and songwriter will release a series of singles via her label Kate Clark Music distributed by BMD (Brooklyn Music Distribution), a song per month, alternating between original tracks and striking reinterpretations of songs that have inspired her.