Toronto's Katie McBride makes the kind of glo-fi pop that previously only existed in your dreams.
A string of heady, idiosyncratic singles peppered their way across 2017, fusing skeletal R&B with blissful electronics and jazz impulses, gently moving towards some sweet shore.
Linking with London tastemaker label Limited Health, new EP 'World Of Dreams' is her most advanced, nuanced statement yet, a work of real breath, real ambition.
Out now, it contains contributions from a number of hand-picked guests, including BadBadNotGood mainstay Matty Tavares.
Clash invited Katie McBride to break down a few of her Influences...
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Arthur Russell - 'This Is How We Walk On The Moon'
I’m going to run out of ways to say that a song changed my life but - this one did! It makes me feel things I didn’t know I could feel. The cello riff alone makes my heart grow three times. To me this is music not of its time - it’s of every time and tells a story that resonates across every era and place and into every corner of the universe.
Panda Bear - 'Alsatian Darn'
Panda Bear is one of my biggest influences and really blew my imagination wide open the past couple of years. I think (I hope) that everything I write has a bit of Panda in it.
I love how catchy but also atypical his melodies are; how they jump around in large intervals, how his lyrics are repetitive and mantra-like. 'Alsatian Darn' is one of my favourites of his. I always get chills about three minutes in. His music has inspired me not only to write songs but also to create atmospheres.
Grimes - 'Symphonia IX (My Wait is U)'
When I first heard Grimes a few years ago it propelled me into making music on my laptop. She was one of the first musicians I got into who was creating every element of her project - artwork, video, music, etc. Her songs made me want to sing falsetto and write beautiful things and program drums and experiment not just with sounds but with visuals too.
Before then I had been writing and arranging music for groups of acoustic instruments. Listening to Grimes helped me realise I could transfer those parts to electronic layers. I was also inspired by how she seemed to embrace every part of herself - she often talks about how she’s not a confident vocalist but I felt like she totally owns the fact that her voice is unconventional and it’s so amazing.
J Dilla ft. Pharoahe Monch - 'Love'
I remember hearing J Dilla for the first time in high school and saying “this is going to change how I hear music forever”. I love 'Love' not only because it’s extremely beautiful but because of its message. This song has become sort of anthem to me; often when I’ve felt disconnected from the world I’ve gone back to it. It’s a beautiful and powerful thing to make music that can do that for someone.
Black Marble - 'A Great Design'
This might be one of my most listened-to tracks. There’s something about 'A Great Design' that evokes so much nostalgia for lives I’ve never lived and places I’ve never been. I’ve tried to write music revisiting those places. I don’t have much else to say besides I just really really love this song.
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'World Of Dreams' EP is out now on Limited Health.
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