For many artists, venturing off into the wilderness has been a great way to escape and find perspective while they work on new material. For Danish synthpop artist Katrine Ottoson, who performs under the moniker CALLmeKAT, the story is almost the exact opposite. Born in the Danish countryside, Ottoson spent her earliest years living with her family surrounded by forest. It was during this time that she began secretly experimenting with a well-worn piano and writing music.
Though now she’s toured the world, far away from the solitude of the woods, she still cites mountains, rivers, and forests as some of her major influences. The dichotomy of nature and inorganic synthesizers has permeated her music through two full-length records and her most recent EP, 2014’s Hidden Waters. Now, she’s exploring the idea even further with her upcoming EP, Mouth of Time, out January 29th via Total Heaviosity. Ahead of the release, she’s shared the title track, in which she goes beyond the physical world and into the netherworld.
“The thought behind the lyrics are two different ‘stories’. It can be thought of as either one or the other, or both, depending on how you hear it,” Ottoson tells Consequence of Sound. “The first angle on the lyrics is where the perspective in a sort of asymmetrical way shifts between the perspectives of ‘an individual who is dying’ and ‘death itself’ (as an individual sort of, but not necessarily in flesh). And the power struggle between the man — with the will to live even if he knows he has to die very soon – and death. In my view, the line ‘I’ll be damned and you’ll be fine’ could be sung from either perspective, depending on the mood. A lot of the lyrics are like that. The other story is more plain, a lyric about two lovers. The point in both parallel ‘stories’ is the potential in setting yourself and the other part free. It is about feeling very much alive too.”
Despite so much focus on dying, the track feels full of life. Drums and fingersnaps pitter underneath Ottoson’s soulful voice while organs rise. She begins to howl on the chorus, sounding both ghoulish and vibrant. Wobbly guitar flourishes intertwine with her sultry narrative, fleshing out these two characters as they struggle between life and death.
Listen in below.