Dear Nora

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DJ Ocean Spray 0:00
Hello, this is DJ Ocean Spray, and you're listening to WKNC 88.1 HD one, Raleigh, and this is an episode of the stripped down. This week's episode is going to work a little bit differently than the usual format. I had the pleasure of interviewing Katy Davidson of Dear Nora, right before their show at Neptune's parlor a few weeks ago. And so I have a quick little chat with Katy. And I also have a live recording of their performance of white fur. So before I get into my chat with Katy, I wanted to give a little bit of background on the band dear Nora, since I didn't have as much time to really chat with them, as I usually do. And so dear Nora was formed in the late 90s. It was formed in Portland. And it's mostly Katy's project, um, this tour that they just did was a solo tour. It's like an indie folk band. very melodic songs that I mean, to me really resemble like a lullaby. And they're almost every single song they have, like, has an allusion to the mountains. So it's a reoccurring theme in their music, which I really love. It's just, it's just very beautiful music, and they're still making music. Today, their most recent album, human features came out in 2022. It's just I don't know, I think it's really amazing that they've been making music, since you know, for quite a while now. And they're still coming out with bangers. Um, so yeah, I was really excited to speak to Katy. And it was a very nice little conversation. So with that, here is my chat with Katy. Okay, um, I am here with Katy Davidson of the band, dear Nora, before their show at Neptune's parlor, and I'm going to ask them a few questions. So to start out with, where do you generally like get your musical inspiration from my musical

Katy Davidson 2:10
inspiration? Good question. Um, gosh, honestly, the biggest place would just be sort of living life, which might sound like a cop out, but it's just absolutely true. Yeah, try to be aware and present in my life. And that's when I feel like I noticed things that seem interesting to me. And then those things that seem interesting to me end up in my lyrics. But I also do read, like, I stay up on culture quite a bit. And I read a lot of I read like, sub stacks and some news and just like, try to do deep dives on culture. And that just keeps me like really stimulated. Yeah, yeah. I just feel like I love knowing what's going on.

DJ Ocean Spray 2:59
Is there like a particular like person sub stacks that you'd like to read? Or is it just kind of like, General?

Katy Davidson 3:05
There's two. I haven't had to say these before. But I, the one I like the absolute most is this one called the Trend Report. I'm blanking on the guy's name. Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick. I think he lives. He's an expert, and he lives in Europe, but I think he's a young guy. He's just really smart. Yeah. Have you heard of it?

DJ Ocean Spray 3:27
Um, I think I have. I've been trying to like kind of get into sub stack a little bit. Yeah.

Katy Davidson 3:33
Yeah, I just I just liked that one. He's, he's, he's tapped in. I hope I'm using the right pronouns. I'm not sure if I think he's goes by he. But um, yeah, he's just tapped in and funny and smart. And I don't know, I just get a lot of inspiring information from that one.

DJ Ocean Spray 3:50
And so what is your like, general songwriting process? Like, like, do you find that like, the instrumental parts come first, or the lyrics?

Katy Davidson 4:00
It used, it's changed. Back when I first started started writing songs. The lyrics would always come at the exact same time as the melody and the chords, all just one package, but I feel like that's kind of why a lot of my early lyrics are there, they are thematic, but they are a little more nonsensical, like it's not easy to follow a total linear path on those and then I just started caring a lot more about lyrics as I started getting older at this point, I mean, maybe kind of write all of it at the same time but what that what's different is even if I get a basic idea down, I won't just go with the first lyrics that pop in my head and just all like work on them a lot more. And I might have some Rough lyrics but I spend a lot longer refining that.

DJ Ocean Spray 5:05
Um, I generally like to ask artists a little bit about the album art they choose. Um, so I wanted to ask you about the art for mountain rock. Um, I've always kind of like, wondered about it like, is it a specific mountain? Does it hold any, like specific significance? Or like, why were you drawn to use that as the art?

Katy Davidson 5:28
Yeah, it's actually the person who took the photo that where the significance lies. I mean, I love the photo anyway. But it's one of my best friends, Jake Long strength who I went to college with. And he was one of the early members of Dear Nora. He's a visual artist thing. He's a painter, and he does take photographs too. And that's just a early photo he took of the Grand Tetons. in white, like it's on the Wyoming Idaho border. And those are the mountains right behind Jenny lake. And I don't know it just he took it right around this time, I finished mountain rock. And it just seemed perfect. And he had done the covers for other albums. Anyway, he did the painting that's on will have a time. He took the photo that's on there is no home. And yeah, he's been involved on some of the other artwork projects on all the other elements to like, get, like insert artwork or something like that back. So it's like really the person that was Yeah, important thing, but obviously I love the image. That's

DJ Ocean Spray 6:41
awesome. Um, and so who would you say your like, favorite or most influential, like musical artist is up anytime? Yeah.

Katy Davidson 6:54
Um, I mean, all I can just say one. Yeah, that's okay. I mean, if you're gonna do some deep dive stuff, definitely would dig into like, Joni Mitchell, the roaches, Bob Dylan. That kind of stuff. And then I love Kate and Anna McGarrigle duo from Canada. Sisters and but if you want to get more contemporary, I absolutely love WrestleMania I love this is the album's Yeah. What else? I'll think of more. But those are def Oh, I love James Blake. Like, like, a lot. Like, just like contemporary artists doing really cool things with Melody. Yeah. Because their aesthetics are so interesting. I just find it. I love their chord changes. And I love how they all sing. So, yeah. Um,

DJ Ocean Spray 7:53
and then finally, how would you describe the music that you create in just three words?

Katy Davidson 8:00
Oh, amazing. That's a good challenge. Okay, I I probably shouldn't say this word first, because I don't think it necessarily comes first. But it's the first one that popped into my head which is like, humorous. You know, it's not like silly or downright funny, but I definitely like to play around with humor in the lyrics and in the songwriting, so humorous and maybe like some version, I'm gonna use multiple words meaning the same, almost the same thing but like reflective or nostalgic. Another one. And then the last one would probably be something along the lines of like, I don't know I'm gonna cheat like, either poetic or novelistic or something having to do with the lyrics something like, up

DJ Ocean Spray 9:08
next, I have the live recording. I took up their performance of white fur when they played at Neptunes parlor.

Katy Davidson 9:17
This terrible, this wonderful
Far-out family will never get me
Unfrozen like longing in volume
A stone's throw from my living room
And where is the mountain?
Ice waterfall, blue glistening day
I'm walking in snow and sun
White fur, white fur, white fur, white fur
Is in the care of no one
Icicle down, gravity, town
Weather coats it, covers it: obliterate
Cremate me in snow and firewater
Skulls example is my name
And there is the mountain
Ice waterfall, blue glistening day
I'm walking in snow and sun
White fur, white fur, white fur, white fur
Is in the care of no one
Of no one
Of no one
Of no one
Of no one
Of no one
Of no one

DJ Ocean Spray 12:06
that's all for this episode of the stripdown. Shout out again to Katy for letting me speak to you for a few minutes on your very busy day of tour if you enjoy their music you can find them on Instagram is at dear Nora reality Bandcamp Spotify YouTube is all just dear Nora and thank you so much for listening to this episode of the stripped down. Once again, this is DJ Ocean Spray and you're listening to WKNC 88.1 HD-1 Raleigh. Thank you

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