Katie Harkin (Sleater-Kinney, Sky Larkin) on Songs About People the Protagonist Hasn’t Met Yet – [Updated]

An exploration of the form, including responses from Shamir, Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak), Tom Fleming (Wild Beasts), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and more.

Singer-songwriter and Talkhouse contributor Shamir added his response to Katie Harkin’s Talk, and here’s what he had to say on Songs About People the Artist Hasn’t Met Yet—read more thoughts from Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Tom Fleming of Wild Beasts, and check back for more thoughts throughout this week.

It’s no secret that music is completely timeless. As a songwriter myself, I often feel a lot of my ideas are handed down to me by musical ancestors who didn’t get a chance to immortalize their creations.

On a spiritual level, the idea of the protagonist feeling the energy of someone before they met them is how I like to think most music is made. The whole concept of demos is to present a song before the song is actually done! Songwriting is just channeling anyway—so of course, a lot of the time, song lyrics reflect disregard for how time actually works!

Having toured since her teens, Katie Harkin‘s reputation as an in-demand multi-instrumentalist has seen her pass through thirty countries whilst writing and releasing three critically acclaimed records with her own band Sky Larkin. Her work garnered the attention of friends and fellow former Leeds dwellers Wild Beasts, with whom she worked across their Smother tour, and reverberated across the pond to urgent cult trio Sleater-Kinney, who recruited her as a touring member upon their triumphant return to the live stage. Most recently, Harkin has performed across North America with Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak‘s solo project, Flock of Dimes and across the UK with Low. Now, (as she unveils her debut solo project) the collaborator steps out as the singular, her new setup giving further platform to her idiosyncratic, muscular guitar-playing and revealing a body of work that is equally propelled by a life on the move and anchored by her romance for the North of England.