Katie Von Schleicher
Katie Von Schleicher has released her new album, ‘Consummation’, via Full Time Hobby. Von Schleicher presents its lead single, ‘Caged Sleep,’ as well as an ominous accompanying video directed by Matt Strickland. ‘Caged Sleep’ is a jagged, upbeat Krautrock track, and one of the last written for the album. “While the rest of the songs were being mixed, I had a vivid dream with a snake the colour of lapis lazuli,” says Von Schleicher. “That became ‘Caged Sleep,’ an ode to a dream that ended a period of my life. Some people hate dream stories, so for those humans: I have included saxophones, synthesizers and claps to court your attention.”
Throughout Consummation, Von Schleicher blasts past the lo-fi power ballads of her debut ‘Shitty Hits’ (2017) with a severe expansion of her sonic palette; its 13 shape-shifting songs depict a deeply personal exploration of trauma. The result is both potent and listenable; strange and familiar; intense and entertaining – and, perhaps most of all, teeming with life. Von Schleicher pulls the listener in from the outset. Consummation is, in part, inspired by an alternate interpretation of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In 2018, she re-watched the seminal film and was struck by its largely unanalyzed subtext of abuse. At its core, Consummation evokes the pain of being unable to bridge that vast psychic distance between oneself and another.
1: The greatest battle in my mind is fought between the ideas of objective and subjective truth.
2: I have a degree in songwriting, which means nothing.
3: I’m obsessed with the advent of public relations and its destruction of modern society (read: ‘The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America’, ‘PR! A Social History of Spin,’ /watch: ‘The Century of the Self’, Adam Curtis’ BBC series)
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Probably needing an outlet and something to do when I’m alone.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
It’s the kind of thing you “get into” at different levels throughout your life, I think. When I was little I used to want to write a song like the ones Celine Dion and Whitney Houston sang on the radio. I did my first performances on this crappy sailboat my grandfather cut in half and installed in his house as a bar.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville
Velvet Underground’s S/T third album,
Elliott Smith – XO
Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out
The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Honest to god, the first thing that came to my mind was: last time I played Berlin I saw someone eating a plastic bag on the street. Fairly iconic.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I think I’d be a therapist or an English teacher.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Locate S,1’s new album ‘Personalia’.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
A writer I admire, probably Carmen Maria Machado.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
One time I played a show that was a non-stop cover of Hanson’s ‘MMMBop’, the band members would switch out and yet the song kept playing… someone passed out, probably because it was so excellent.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
At this point, very integral. I usually demo a song while I’m writing it, so from the very beginning there’s technology involved.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have five half siblings. I think they’re proud? They think I’m a bit of a freak.
Photo © BA DA BING