From North Germany, the pop-rock artist and singer-songwriter katie drives releases a highly relatable, personal, and nostalgic-sounding 4-track EP entitled 'Fake Smiles.'
Raised on classical music, katie drives introduced herself to a more contemporary and popular sound in her teenage years. Beginning her musical venture through in-depth covers, katie drives later expanded her career with help from Berlin-based producer Ole Kuhlmann who helped navigate her blazing pop-rock sound.
Now releasing her debut EP, 'Fake Smiles,' listeners can introduce themselves to katie drives' relatable concepts through this project. Opening the EP is the intro track, "Maniac," a previously released single that blazed its way through TikTok and Instagram. The intro track takes off with a powerful rock edge that sets a dense and rich sonic atmosphere.
As katie drives begins to expand on her relatable and personal lyricism, she drenches us in the concept of feeling imprisoned by her thoughts and teetering the edge between quiet courage and psychosis. We love the anthemic tone of this track, as it perfectly opens the project while leaving listeners thoroughly engaged for more.
Softening the project's listening experience through the chilling track, "Fade Into Grey," katie drives offers a deep and profound concept while slamming our speakers with all sorts of nostalgia that rings similar to alt-rock/punk acts of the early 00s. While she touches on the endless circles she runs that sway her from bright sunny days into gloomy thoughts, katie drives makes the experience all the more memorable with her emotionally rich and intense performance. Not to mention the song's crisp and punchy instrumentation; we absolutely adore such a vulnerable and powerful track like this.
Expanding on a rather grim subject with the next track, "The Fear," katie drives opens the song with a gentle and melancholy piano melody while transitioning away from her usual anthemic pop-rock sound. As her chilling and captivating vocals begin to elaborate on the unnerving topic of death, she reminds us of those time-shattering moments when we lose a loved one while emphasizing her fear of facing death dead in the face. Also questioning how long it takes until we're forgotten after we've passed on, katie drives continues to drench us in her deeply emotional and enthralling vocals while transitioning into the emotion-evoking rock sound that emphasizes the song's haunting theme.
Reaching the project's final track, "Why Fall In Love When You Can Fall Asleep?," katie drives begins the listening experience with a driving rhythm guitar and a hefty drum arrangement. As she begins expanding on a deeply personal lyrical subject, she enlightens us on her continuous desire to steer away from love and remain comfortable in a state of solitude. We can hear katie drives' honest and genuine emotion merely through the tone of her voice, as she pours a powerful lyrical message over our ears while emphasizing the need to rest her head and flee from society's expectations.
Experience the deepened emotion and relatable concept of katie drives' latest 4-track EP, 'Fake Smiles,' and allow the young singer-songwriter to boggle your brain with her profoundly personal lyricism. Find 'Fake Smiles' on all digital streaming platforms.
You've truly struck an emotional chord with your recent 4-track EP, 'Fake Smiles.' What inspired you to create a project that questions life's saddening and unnerving moments?
With most of the lyrical ideas, I already came up before we ever heard of the Coronavirus. But probably the lockdown and also my personal situation of being pretty disappointed of my current life in 2020 shaped the sad spirit of this EP. Starting the project at first it was my aim to create rather happy-sounding songs with dark and deep lyrics. But in the end also the musical level became more serious and melancholy than expected and that felt right to me. The songs reflect things that were - and still are - on my mind. So of course my own thoughts, feelings, experiences, and also observations of my surrounding are the main inspiration. Also, I didn’t want to talk about any trivial fun stuff in my very first songs but use them to release some honest messages.
Welcome to BuzzMusic katie drives, it's a pleasure to have you with us. Seeing that your lyricism throughout 'Fake Smiles' is incredibly vulnerable and personal, was it challenging to write such emotional concepts? Or was this the outlet you needed?
It’s definitely more challenging to publish these emotions and show them to the world (and even more challenging to show them to people that more or less know me) than to write them down. I’m a bloody new songwriter but I’m starting to very much enjoy turning chaotic thoughts into pretty-sounding poetry. It’s a process of opening up in a beautiful and creative way. If I would write and sing the lyrics in my native tongue German it would be harder I guess. In a foreign language, it’s easier to hide meanings or hide behind the words’ sound. Step by step I’m learning to feel comfortable with standing by what I sing and I will grow into that role of an authentic artist.
Who helped in the creation of your punchy and engaging pop-rock instrumentals within 'Fake Smiles'? What was the EP's sonic and instrumental creative process like?
I worked together with Berlin-based producer and engineer Ole Kuhlmann aka ShibbsterTweets. I collected sound references and described all the details I wanted to have in each song. Due to the circumstance we didn’t live in the same town we started off digital but I like it best when I am on-site and as involved as possible in the production. My producer put my ideas into practice by composing, arranging, and playing all instruments. I also got help from my songwriter friend Anna Schocke. If there was no lockdown and no train tickets to pay I would have wanted to work even more on all these songs. Anyways I think it’s a good start, katie drives exist now and from there on I can dive deeper into the art of creating my own music.
Did you have any musical influences in mind when formulating the sound and feel of your EP 'Fake Smiles?' Who influenced this project the most?
My goal was to write catchy pop songs covered in rock sounds as was common in the 2000s mainstream music. I always name Avril Lavigne first here but also Katy Perry’s album „One Of The Boys“ is a perfect example in which direction I wanted to head with ‚Fake Smiles‘. My very favorite band is Paramore and in general, I adore female-fronted alternative bands, so these have a huge influence as well. I want to break some musical boundaries by being a girly appearing girl who loves and makes rock music. Not too heavy sounding but I already realized I have the most fun with the harder and upbeat parts. The new stuff I’m currently working on will sound more modern and oriented towards pop-punk respectively the so-called nu-punk.
What do you hope the listener feels and takes away from your entire EP, 'Fake Smiles?' What thoughts or feelings did you want to provoke?
Of course, I hope listeners can identify with my lyrics and the music touches them on an emotional level. On the one hand I want to show teenage kids they are not alone with their dark thoughts and hopefully, I can somehow become kind of a role model for insecure adolescents. On the other hand, I want to show that the twenties can be tough between past memories and future fears, struggling to find the fitting way of life. All the songs’ topics can be hidden behind a bright smile, so I’m sending out the message to sometimes question the actual happiness behind supposedly happy people, not just on social media but also in real life.