ISH ISH . . .
...began as a laughing matter. I liked to use it as a playful way of saying, 'kind of.' But two years ago, after I had been on assignments in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the songs that would eventually find their way onto this record were beginning to take shape. They were not about the parts of life that are 'kind of' anything. I was wrestling with the gap between the truths of genocide and ethnic cleansing and the glossy portrayals of such in the media. I was seeking to unveil a shroud of deception, it was rough and painful at times. It occurred to me that ISH ISH seemed a great title for this album because many of my songs attempt to strike a balance between these bright melodic structures and the darkest realities of life. As an album it has a lot of content that is so antithetical to the relative meaning of -ish but it is attempting to commemorate the memory of people who have suffered and struggled.
It is those unique and haunting acapella melodies, and minimal songs,
wrapped in surprising structures that are at the same time utterly human,
completely foreign, and undeniably spiritual. -Doug Stanford [Producer +
For a while, I had this secret dream of recording an album on 4-track and I knew that the minimal nature of these songs made them perfect candidates for such an approach. After two years of sifting through possibilities about how to bring this idea to life, I met Brent Delventhal, an audio engineer who has made several analog albums. It turns out that we are much alike; I like to walk to the camera store to buy film for my Voigtlander, and making a record on cassettes seems to be the very same kind of choice. Our convictions about what exactly was required for this project were very similar and his intuitive touch throughout the process made working with him a pure joy.
There is a measure of commitment that is required in creating an album in this way because it is so difficult to 'go back' into the recordings and change things. This gives them an organic quality that is entirely honest and made it an ideal approach for me, especially with these particular songs. They are attempting to call on Truth that it might cast a light upon the ironies of its representations.
I remember refugees and barbed wire,
In those days, I was eating cereal and watching the television
And how could we shrug and shift our glance away in such
Dances and detours? -Excerpt from the song 'minds + corners'
This work, as a whole, is meant to take all of us back to complicated or painful moments in our collective and personal histories that just don't sit as well within us as 'cereal + television.' And from there, to remind us that there is a 'silver silk [that] winds around through the bitter grass...roving wherever you'll take it.'
This record will be pressed onto 180 gram virgin vinyl by United Record Pressing in a LIMITED EDITION of 300 copies that will come with a CD. The covers will be screen printed on recycled chipboard by A Mystery in Common and letter pressed by Thousand Pound Press.
ILLUSTRATIONS + A BOOK
Much of my writing process has an integral visual aspect and there are times when illustration has helped to guide the imagery in my songs. I will be publishing a collection of 50 blind contour drawings into a book. These new works will all portray the content and process of making, 'ISH ISH.' Additionally, the book will include lyrics from all of the songs featured on the album and its B-sides as well as brief insights from some of my greatest friends and conspirators who have been my sources of inspiration + encouragement. They will be printed in full color in a LIMITED EDITION of 100 copies. All of the original illustrations will be a reward option as will the option of having full-color prints of them. To see some previously published and current work, check out the ILLUSTRATION category on my website.
For taking the time to read about this dream and for considering supporting me in these endeavors. It is my wish to share these works with the world and every bit of support, both literal and figurative is a great help. Blessings!
To see and hear more, visit nellykate.net.
Mock-up of the record covers printed by A Mystery In Common as of 11.20.
Expect a touch more washed-out neon + sea foam.
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- (35 days)