Last week, I connected with Kathryn Claire, a musician based in Portland who lived in Astoria during the start of her musical career 20 years ago. On Friday, she came back for an evening performance at KALA. Claire and her two bandmates filled the venue and put on a beautiful, intimate show. The highlight of the evening: hearing the band’s new single, “Eastern Bound for Glory,” which was released online just a few hours before the concert. The crew is now on their way to Europe, where they plan to spend three weeks touring.
Here’s a Q+A session with Claire from just before the show, which has been edited for clarity.
Lucy Kleiner: Can you describe your music for me?
Kathryn Claire: That’s a hard one, but actually this album has been really clarifying for my sound. One of the things the press has said is ‘orchestral indie folk.’ It really defines our sound live.
LK: What drew you to music?
KC: I grew up with music in my life and in my family. My grandfather was an amateur violinist. My mom and dad both sang and my mom was a public school music teacher. I grew up with music being a very normal part of life. I asked to play the violin when I was 7, and was always singing. It was just kind of what you did in our family.
LK: What’s the most unique thing about your performances?
KC: The violins are so central to the album and to our live performance. We ended up being able to create the sound of a string quartet live with just two violins, and then we play with an electric bass player. It’s a very unique sound that I can’t say I hear a lot.
LK: What should audience members expect at your shows?
KC: I think what’s cool about our live show is that it’s both really intimate and heartfelt and tender, and it’s also really fun and joyful. I just love my band so much. I think there’s a lot of joy and excitement in conjunction with a sort of deep and moody album. We deliver both this intimate performance and a lot of fun and joy.
LK: Complete the sentence for me: I am...
KC: A musician, and I am a connector of people and hearts. I am a creative being, and I am a traveler. And I’m a lover of life.