By Amy Steele
Based in Maine, singer/songwriter Kate Schrock writes songs that resonate with emotion. Her haunting, ethereal voice anchors her well-crafted and complex music. Schrock works with layers, unusual compositions and strong lyrics. Her latest effort, Dames Rocket, showcases her beautiful, mesmerizing voice and often heart-wrenching compositions.
“Lose Myself’ haunts with its dark vocal style and memorable chorus: “I’ve traveled so far to lose myself.” The simple, wistful way that Schrock sings this song draws the listener to her immediately. With “Mission Beach”, she achingly sings, “I miss you too much to speak of / each day gets a little bit worse.” That statement has so many meanings and speaks volumes. Self-production allows Schrock to control everything. She delves into self-exploration and acceptance with the stunning, honest “Anything in the World.” The mixes of piano, bass, percussion, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and organ on various tracks add to the intimacy and sultry attitude that Schrock exudes from every angle on this album.
“A good song is lyrically driven with an unusual chord structure that is going somewhere unpredictable,” Schrock explained from her country setting. “It’s going the path least tread and having the ability to leave a lot to the listener’s imagination. You open up the world with many layers, depth and multiple meanings. The words come together and feed each other. I explore aspects of human emotion. Strife and confusion and paradox inspire.”
She taught herself piano and never expected to be a musician. While at the University of Chicago for a few years, she sang in a Roxy Music/ velvet Underground-esque band and truly enjoyed the experience. She started working on her own writing and has takend a D.I.Y. approach by creating her own music label.
“The industry is volatile right now with corruption in the structure of major labels and their power. It’s basically run by people whose motives I question. I’d rather do it on my own scale my way than to place myself into mechanics out of my control. I can do things as I feel; solve my own problems on my own accord, say what I want to day and do what I want to do.”
This Bennington graduate has lived across the country-New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and around the world; she spent time in Paris. Being in a serene environment like Maine allowed her to break a longstanding writer’s block by retreating from hectic city life.
“I have a lot of time to think without the constant borage of the big city stuff. Although I did live near Times Square NY at one point and did a heck of a lot of writing inspired by interesting characters and drama.
While things are never easy as a female artist, Schrock believes things have greatly changed since her career began years ago. Suzanne Vega paved the way for artists such as Tori Amos who paved the way for artists such as myself.
After putting out albums on her own for 7 years, it’s clear that Schrock is not in this for the money but for the love of expressing herself through music. She often finds herself on tour around the country. When we talked she was planning to head South very soon. She has a website (www.kateschrock.com) and believes in the independent spirit of the music business.
“Music creates spiritual and mental health.”