Last week, I had the chance to chat with the awesomely bright and sparky Australian songstress; Cloves [Kaity Dunstan]. I caught her for a conversation as she tours around Australia in anticipation and promotion for her album One Big Nothing which is due for release this September.
Dialling in all the way from Australia to speak to myself in London, we managed to cram a really genuine, fun and interesting chat in, before her show in Dunsborough, Western Australia that evening. We exchanged ‘How are you’s’ and those all important etiquettes and delved into her journey so far.
For Kaity [Cloves], it was always music growing up, never pinpointing a moment when music was going to be the ultimate career goal. It has taken over three years of writing and producing to get to the finish line. I delved into the vision that went into the overall experience and the message that fans can interpret when they get a chance to listen to the release.
As a new chapter begins, the album will reflect on her coming of age and the stories intertwined. Kaity really let her guard down and there was nothing but pure honesty as she spoke about a young love that mutually drifted over time. Each song is relative to herself but caresses the delicate emotions of a long term first love and letting go after a break up that dissolved as the feelings fade and all the anxieties of losing herself and learning about herself all over again.
Discussing the album’s creative process is when you could really identify Kaity’s passion for her own music and the small team she built up around her in the album’s motion. Travelling the 4 hour round trip to Reading, the writing sessions became hang out’s and comfortable processes that allowed her to open up.
Combing out each song and experimenting with ideas, there was never a place that strengthened her writing, it was all about catching it at the right time. Many of the tracks were built from voice notes and demos on her phone; a simple guitar, piano, intro, outro that would then develop, divert and deter away from the original idea and blend new creations together in the most interesting and genuine way leaving a track that “would really have something to say for itself”.
Strong female musicians Lana Del Rey and London Grammar’s Hannah Reid come to mind instantly on first listening, however Kaity revealed a number of layers to her influences, the rising above the rest with the drums from the Arctic Monkeys fifth studio album AM as well as the interjection of style from American Rock Band The Black Key’s and most importantly to her, the legends of Radiohead and the extraordinary Fiona Apple.
And of course as Festival season is now in full swing here in the UK and worldwide, it would be wrong not to ask about all the fest fun and what ticks all the boxes about both attending and performing and any comparisons to playing in a venue. Recently hitting up Victoria Park as she performed at the brand new East London festival All Points East, she raved about the catering especially the mushroom burger, what a winner.
Festivals have the edge slightly “they allow you to f**k around a bit more, they’re relaxing and freeing”. However the venue allows any artist to be a little more intricate from the lighting to the sound design, every process is thought through, which Kaity says does increase the pressure.
Self described as meticulous, Kaity plans to get going on a whole new chunk of music this year while her writing is in a great place as she catches inspiration all at the right time. It’s not music 24/7 for Cloves though, she takes some time out to socialise which is never short of a few G&Ts, and when she returns to her base in London, she is a big fan of Brixton and an English pub garden [If that isn’t relatable I don’t know what is].
Get familiar with Cloves as her debut album due to drop this September will be sure to resonate with all of our emotions and memories, as nostalgia of first love and life’s battles and all the ups and downs will leave us a little reflective. There is no doubt her cool and collected attitude combined with her honest craft will see her become a timeless, class act of the new generation of artists now breaking through.
words by Jodie Brunning