If new music is one of the silver linings of 2020, Passing Strange’s record The Water and the Woods is pure sterling – saturated with lush, keyboard-and-percussion soundscapes and stories that had me listening long into the summer.
We recently connected with Kate Mirabella, lyricist, singer and keyboard for the Connecticut alt-rock duo (with Anthony Paolucci) to talk about what’s next.
Rockmommy: For those who might not be familiar with your music, how would you describe your sound?
Kate Mirabella: The best way to describe my sound is an emo Fiona Apple. One track on an album can be dulcet and melodic and the next one is an angry jazzy revenge song. It’s definitely moody and lyric-focused.
Rockmommy: What were the biggest challenges you encountered in the last 12 months?
After losing family members to Covid, losing my job, and not being able to play shows, I was feeling pretty low and stuck. I usually write and play every day, but it was hard to be creative this year. One thing that got me through it was the phenomenal music that came out this year. Phoebe Bridger’s “Punisher” and the two Taylor Swift albums got me super inspired and writing again.
Not being able to practice as a band was difficult, but it also gave me some time to reflect on my sound. I actually wrote a few songs in quarantine that will be on the new album. The tone and lyrics have a heaviness and darkness to them, which I think shows where my head was at this year.
Rockmommy: What are you most hopeful for in 2021?
Kate Mirabella: The news of vaccines has been so wonderful to see. I feel there will be a huge creative renaissance coming up in response to the pandemic. I can’t wait to go out to museums, shows and be with friends again. It feels like we can plan on it looking like the roaring 20’s after the Spanish Flu.
Rockmommy: Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Passing Strange’s third studio album will be in the works this year! Some of these songs are a few years old, while others were written in quarantine. I can’t wait to get these songs out there and play them live.
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor of Rockmommy.