Kate Bowen
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Kate Bowen

Maidstone, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Maidstone, United Kingdom
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Americana Folk

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"A Time Before EP- Kate Bowen: A Graceful and Impressive Release Filled With Steps Of Self-Growth"

The Maidstone artist has taken songs from her songwriting journey over the last decade, to put together an EP, that is both assured and extremely relatable. The inspiration of these songs come from travelling experiences, people close to her and finding some much needed headspace from her job as Mental Health Nurse. The outcome of the honest and calming 'A Time Before', is both an indication of her talents as a song-writer and a relatable voice for so many.
The gentle and assured guitar playing introduces us to the EP with a lot of heart on ‘Forget About You’, with Kate offering some relaxed vocals and a slow arena rock melody, over the acoustic aesthetic. It’s a fitting first track, the curtains feel like they are opening, as we witness the artist hit the ground running with her music. The moment of the song title being sang is a highlight, the slight pause…and then ‘forget about you’, it feels as if Kate is singing at that precise moment of realisation of her given thought.

Following on, we have ‘For A While’, acts as the next stage in a way, of the moving on that we heard in the previous song The feeling of wanting to experience peace and calm is felt strongly here, while the music itself feels very accepting of fate and how needing to work on yourself, its a very mature dealing of a difficult time for the artist.

As a listener, you are feeling the grasp of understanding of coping and trying to deal with your hardship. It has to be said, thats an impressive sign of a talented songwriter right there, having the ability to gift the listener such advice and feelings.

The contemplation of self worth and engagement with the wider world is found on ‘Interesting World’, which also includes an entry of subtle percussion to the EP. ‘Too many voices, nobody being heard, I want to be interested, In this interesting world’ is sung by Bowen in the chorus, the feeling of what is there that I can truly get on board is extremely relatable here.

The instrumentation choices gives this song an extra texture to it too, acting as if we are now being proactive with finding some purpose or something to do with our life. I do with this song was longer though, it could really reach out to capture more aspects of the songs topic and allowing the instruments to fill out even more.

'Don't Wait Too Long', brings together everything that Kate Bowen is all about, a combination of melodic prowess with sounds of purity and grace. Guided by a beautiful piano piece, the singers vocals soar so gently and beautifully, capturing our hearts along the way. This song in particular stands out with its melody writing and touch of class from the musicianship that is showcased here. The meaning of the song is also wonderful, telling us not to wait on doing things and experience the world, again the maturity of the lyrics shines so well on this track.

The final track of ‘A Time Before’ comes across as a reflection of the whole EP, it concludes that acceptance of self worth and progression. Mentioning about how people have put Kate down on being honest and sensitive, it tackles how her own world needs to shift for her to feel herself and safe once more.

The introduction of the gentle drums is a great touch, which gives this piano based song a sense of importance and direction. It concludes ‘A Time Before’ well, an EP which is great showcase of how talented Kate Bowen is and how she is stepping in the right direction with her music. - Bring Me The Music


"Kate Bowen - A Time Before"

Kate Bowen - girl with guitar from Kent. Her singing is simple and lyrics realistic about the simple things in life that happens with everyone. Her recent EP was released just before the New Year 2021, namely on December 30.
This is a girl with guitar who can play piano and drums, which reveals her multi-instrumentalism in minimalist forms. Surprisingly, her acoustic guitar sounds like Keith Richards' 70s model from his 'Angie'. The first two songs were performed by Kate in acoustics and already in the third track we hear her full accompaniment from her own band. Sounds easy and modest and it's cute. This is what attracts attention and invites us to travel further on the free way. And so the piano comes to accompany the singer-songwriter and her final composition, as if saying goodbye, gives instructions to continue to follow her life principles - to be yourself. Kate loves to travel and bring new songs about human relationships and the good that every person has to bring with them into the life, every person who tries to live life so that it doesn't hurt later. - Indie Dock Music Blog


"Moving On: Kate Bowen is ready to 'Be Myself' and never look back"

Taken off her latest five-track EP called ‘A Time Before‘, Kate Bowen, sings with such meaning and passion via her brand new single about moving in a new direction to self-happiness on ‘Be Myself‘.

Maidstone, Kent-based mental health nurse, indie-folk singer-songwriter, avid USA traveler and laid-back genuine soul Kate Bowen, sings with a new-found freedom, born from a change in her job role that has relaxed her and given more time for her to make music.

She performs with an honest introspection that is fused authentically from her almost life-long experience in music creation, as she started playing the trumpet at eight years old and graduated to learn the guitar, drums and piano from there.

After helping others for most of life, this certainly feels like a way of putting her desires out into the universe for others to enjoy. In a way, she is still inspiring others, this time through her delightful soundscapes, that reflect her astonishing voice right into your heart to take strength from.

Her voice echos through the speakers and you hear a musician who needs a holiday again, as her boots are made for travelling and new paths await her. After experiencing being stuck with a few things personally, her heart is now open wide and she sounds ready for adventures again. Somewhere safe and being 100% happy is the only thing that matters right now.

‘Be Myself‘ from the soulfully inspirational Maidstone-based Kate Bowen, is a stunning effort from this incredible artist who sings with that inner beauty and puts on a real dazzling show here, with sumptuous class and quality added for good measure.

Being yourself is the only way to live and to be truly happy while looking into the mirror each day. Helping others can only transpire, if you’re spiritually healthy yourself and following those inner passions within. - A&R Factory


"Kate Bowen - A Time Before (2020)"

Can you imagine an 8-year-old playing the trumpet? Well, UK-based Kate Bowen was one of those kids and I’m guessing she was adorable. She may have begun on the trumpet, but she soon diversified her “instrument-playing” skills learning the guitar, bass guitar, piano, drums and percussion. Inspired by the likes of Suzanne Vega and Joan Armatrading, Bowen has a robust folk sound with Elton John-esque pop undertones. We have the honour of reviewing her debut EP A Time Before.
A Time Before may have been penned in Bowen’s bedroom during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it was recorded with producers Bill Sherrington and John Merriman at South London’s Crown Lane Studio. Well-textured and layered, A Time Before is an accumulation of soulful tracks forming a hazy ambience in which you can easily become lost. Oddly enough, while the swirl of sound can engulf you there remains a steadiness to Bowen’s sound keeping you “on your feet” so to say.

Beautiful in its simplicity, all of the tracks adopt a bare-bones approach enhancing the genuineness of the honest lyricism. Ranging from the empowering ‘Forget About You’ to the inspiring ‘Interesting World’ and reflective ‘For A While’, Bowen’s music is introspective with a lingering sentimentality. Highly notable, many of the tracks utilise a Joan Armatrading design; however, Kate Bowen’s husky, soulful and intimate vocals seem to transcend the iconic Armatrading – or at least stand alongside her.

My favourite track is ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’ – a pop meets folk ballad with a strong similarity to Elton John. The piano-led track seems cathartic with a wistful optimism. Once again, it is the simplicity of this singer-songwriter’s music that makes it beautiful. It’s strange, but despite the basic, stripped-back sound it still bursts with a kaleidoscopic cascade of tender-hearted melodies. - The Other Side Reviews


"Music Interview – KATE BOWEN – ‘A Time Before’ Out Now!"

We caught up with Maidstone-based artist KATE BOWEN following the brilliant release of, ‘A Time Before’. Read now!

Hi Kate, tell us about yourself?
I’m Kate, and I’ve been writing songs since I was about 16. I started taking music lessons when I was 7 starting out with the recorder then the trumpet whilst at primary school, I then took percussion and drum lessons in high school and taught myself how to play guitar, bass and piano. I played in orchestras and ensembles throughout school and at university as well as a couple of years back home after graduation.

I listen and play music every day – I love travelling and going on holiday to explore new places, but I always miss my guitar when it can’t come with me. I’m currently living and working in Maidstone, Kent. All of the instruments you hear in ‘A Time Before’ are played by me apart from the percussion lines which were created and performed by John Merriman.

What is your songwriting process?
I love playing guitar, and most of my songs stem from chords and messing around with sequences – I also play piano, and again my songs start with a melody or a chords sequence. On my first album ‘The Things that Define Us’ some of the lyrics came first, especially those songs that I wrote whilst travelling or thinking about my travelling experiences, but for the majority of the songs I have written the chords/music come first.

Tell us about your latest release ‘A Time Before’?
I’ve spent the last almost ten years, either studying to be or practising as a mental health nurse. So music has taken a back seat – I have written songs most years in that time that I’ve been happy with and with lockdown and a change in job role. I was able to write more and arrange some studio time. ‘A Time Before’ is a selection of the songs I’ve written since 2011 inspired by travel, friends and family, and about finding some headspace after a long day on the wards.


You recorded ‘A Time Before’ at Crown Lane Studio in Morden, South London with John Merriman and Bill Sherrington, what was that process like?
I’ve known John and Bill for many years: they are both incredibly supportive, and there’s always a lovely atmosphere at the studio whether you’re recording or rehearsing. To feel relaxed whilst recording is so important to me – the worst state to be in is to be stressed and uncomfortable as the music will never sound as good as you want it to – I’m a laid- back person, and that is reflected, I hope, in the music I write and release, and that is aided by the guys at Crown Lane. They also have the advantage of having a fantastic coffee shop on-site – ‘Metronome’ – which serves a great cappuccino!

You have travelled extensively in America, to over 25 States, has this influenced your writing?
Absolutely. I first went to the States in 2009 after I graduated from university. I love the National Parks, especially Yellowstone and all the bears! I have done a few small group adventure tours which included four weeks travelling from Seattle up through Canada to Alaska, we camped the majority of nights, saw moose and bears and sea otters, and had a few beers around the campfire.

The song ‘Dawson City’ was inspired by the place and the album cover from ‘The Things that Define Us’ is me ‘jumping’ over a glacier near one of our campsites. The song ‘Interesting World’ was written in between trips to the States and I’d love to go back once we are allowed to travel again.

What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
I like to think that my music brings a sense of calm. I like writing music that can get you through your morning commute or to unwind after a long day or to chill and reflect. My music is very personal: it’s about my experiences and my friends and family’s experiences or things that I see and read about.

When lyrics come to me as I’m playing guitar and keyboards, I write them down, and I think they mean one thing, but when I read them through later, they can mean something completely different. All of my favourite songs are ones that make me stop and think, and I hope that when people listen to my music, it makes them stop and think too.

Who are your non-musical influences?
Holidays and travelling for sure and anywhere that gets me out of my own head and makes me appreciate that moment in time like walking up a hill or a mountain and admiring the view. People I meet, books I read, things I watch on the TV, Covid and Brexit, and my friends and family. I’m not always good at finding the right words to say at the time, and they find their way into my writing instead.

‘Be Myself’ is a good example of this: I was irritated about something, and I got it out on paper, and I felt better about it as a result. ‘Don’t wait too long’ is dedicated to members of my family we’ve lost in the last few years and a reminder to myself to make the most out of every day and that you may not get another opportunity.

What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
Over the years I have played in pubs and small venues with my guitar in the UK, but I think my favourite ‘gig’ was playing in bars and on a boat in Alaska. The people I travelled within my small group had all met as strangers, but they all got behind me and my music, and I hope, added something to their trip as it did to mine.

We stopped for coffee on the road one day in the middle of nowhere and someone that had seen me play the night before remembered me and congratulated me on my playing – I’ll never forget moments like that. I have received some lovely feedback about ‘A Time Before’ from friends, family and people I have never met: it all means so much. When you write music in your bedroom, and your audience is mainly two cats who generally sleep throughout, it’s so nice to have it so well received.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
We are all living in strange times – the series of lockdowns have been positive for creativity and musicians, and other artists have been inventive in finding ways to get their music out – take Taylor Swift’s latest releases for example.

However, gigs on whatever scale have been stopped which is hard on a lot of performers: online performances and live streaming have become really popular, but there is no feeling quite like hearing and seeing your favourite artists in person and being part of a crowd singing back at them and being part of something.

What are your hopes for the next two years?
I hope to receive my Covid vaccine soon and for things to start to return to a new ‘normal’. I have really missed seeing family and friends: sharing my music with them has been really positive and has given us something different to talk about! I would love to play some local venues, and I would love to write some new material I am pleased with to share with the world!

FVMusicBlog January 2021 - FVMusicBlog


"E.A.POETS APPROVED/BANDS WE LIKE – KATE BOWEN"

Good Day Noir Family,
our “E.A.Poets Approved/Bands We Like” section is dedicated to Kate Bowen. I discovered this artist while shuffling songs on Youtube and I was fascinated by her voice.
Kate Bowen’s voice is beautiful, it goes straight to your heart with its warm and strong timbre.
A voice capable of telling stories, those voices you hope to find around a fire on a beach.
Deep songs that made me travel in my thoughts. I saw myself in those endless American roads traveling with my Ford convertible, with the wind in my hair and freedom in my blood.
Simple but true and refined sounds.
The production is very professional because nowadays when you hear the real instruments then you realize that only the real strings really vibrate, not the plugins. Those strings capable of transferring emotions, audio waves that carry a message.
The mix of Kate Bowen’s songs is perfect, every sound element finds the right space and the balance between the various instruments is impeccable.
This music breathes and makes you breathe.
Songs that somehow manage to give you hope for the future that makes you look up and look forward with confidence.
A Time Before is Kate Bowen’s EP Out Now!
An intense and sweet sound journey! - Edgar Allan Poets


"Kate Bowen – ‘A Time Before’ Interview"

Kate Bowen is a singer-songwriter based in Maidstone, Kent and plays acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, piano and vocals. Kate’s new EP titled A Time Before explores themes of loss, relationships and doing what you feel is the right thing to do. Let’s dive in and hear from Kate about this new music!

YMX: Hey Kate, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?

Kate: 2020 was an odd year to say the least! I was meant to go on holiday to Italy and explore Naples, Rome and Florence but lockdown in the UK came in a couple of weeks before we were meant to fly out – I have doubt that I’ll go at some point, maybe next year. I also worked on an inpatient mental health ward for a number of months in 2020 and had to adjust to wearing PPE and learning to communicate through masks – I can’t imagine what my acute nursing colleagues went and are still going through: they truly are heroes. I changed jobs in October and took some much needed annual leave: both of these things meant I had more time to spend on my music and give me some mental space to finish writing the material for my new EP ‘A Time Before’.

YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?

Kate: I have played musical instruments since I was 7 starting out with the recorder then the trumpet whilst in primary school then took drum and percussion lessons whilst in high school. I taught myself how to play piano and guitar and started writing songs when I was 16. I have always loved music, many of my relatives are musical, and I have played in many orchestras and wind bands over the years: playing trumpet as part of my university’s orchestra in Canterbury Cathedral was a real highlight. I especially love going to concerts. I have been fortunate to see many of the musicians who have inspired my music including Joan Armatrading, Judie Tzuke and Suzanne Vega – seeing the Foo Fighters in London a few times were experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed too! I love the way music makes me feel and I love having feedback that my songs have evoked emotions in others – for me that’s what making music is all about.

YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why

Kate: Mary Chapin Carpenter – her voice (and her lovely videos throughout lockdown) has been a real inspiration. I love her distinctive style and how emotive her songs are. She has a very relaxed stage presence too which I aspire to. Her song ‘Old D-35’ influenced the style of my song ‘Interesting World’. Joan Armatrading – a music legend. My voice was compared to hers by a teacher at school and I am so lucky he did as I bought one of her CDs when I was 17, her music is fantastic and I have listened to her all over the world when I have been travelling: she has been a constant companion via my iPod! Joan Armatrading played all instruments and produced her album ‘This Charming Life’ and that inspired me to try and do the same. Fleetwood Mac – I have listened to Fleetwood Mac for as long as I can remember. Their music is unique and their range of genres is impressive. I love Stevie Nicks’ voice as well as her stage presence. I was lucky enough to see them perform in London a couple of years ago and it was one of the best night’s of my life – I got full on goosebumps when they started to sing. I love the way Christine McVie plays keyboards and I attempted to emulate her when I wrote my song ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’.

YMX: You recently released your EP ‘A Time Before’. Can you tell us how that project came about?

I released my new EP ‘A Time Before’ on 30/12/2020 which consists of 5 tracks written over the last 7 or so years. I really wanted something positive to come out of 2020 and I thought that it was the right time to take songs I had written in my bedroom to the studio and out into the world. ‘Be Myself’ is a song partially inspired by the Covid pandemic and the response some people had to it, and still do, that it is some kind of hoax and not something to take seriously.

YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?

Kate: I was really lucky – I managed to record very rough demos at home and send them to the studio – Crown Lane in South London – where my music teacher from school, John Merriman, is the director. I managed to get in the studio to record all the tracks – we got them all recorded in 1 day with some finishing touches and mixing on day 2. I am fortunate that I can play, and did play, all of the instruments heard on the tracks – John played the percussion parts which sound awesome.

YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?

Kate: Yes absolutely. Its been a difficult year for the music industry and those working in entertainment. I have participated in many Zoom calls (as I am sure most people have!) and have watched some fantastic live stream performances.

YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?

Kate: Releasing an EP in a pandemic has been quite the learning curve! I have plugged my EP through my social media accounts and joined groups on Facebook associated with Americana and songwriting to get ideas and promote my EP. One tip that keeps appearing in articles I have read and videos I’ve watched is that consistency is key as well as having lots of time and making sure you plan ahead – some people want songs prior to release to review them, and some after, so its important to find out as much as you can.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)

Kate: I would love to write some more songs – I have a catalogue of unrecorded songs at home – and share them with everyone. Until the end of last year I hadn’t been in the studio since 2011 when I started my nursing course and I forgot how much fun and enjoyable it was so I would love to go back soon. I would also love to play live again – no gigs planned as yet, its so hard to plan anything at the moment! - YMX MusicBlog


"Kate Bowen"

KATE BOWEN
Kate Bowen é uma cantora e compositora que mora em Maidstone, Kent (Reino Unido). Kate é uma multi instrumentista e tira suas composições e apresentações de artistas como Suzanne Vega, Judie Tzuke, Joan Armatrading e Mary Chapin-Carpenter. Kate viajou extensivamente pelos EUA e muito do material de seu primeiro álbum 'The Things That Define Us' (2011) foi influenciado por essas experiências de viagem. O novo EP de Kate 'A Time Before' foi lançado em 30 de dezembro de 2020, que apresenta temas de perda, relacionamentos e fazer o que você sente e pensa que é a coisa certa a fazer. Kate canta e toca todos os instrumentos em 'A Time Before', exceto as partes de percussão. - Os Garotos de Liverpool


Discography

The Things that Define Us (2011)

Travellin'
Paranoia
It's Me
Post Grad
Have it All
Always America
Be a Man
Dawson City
The Things that Define Us
Going Back

A Time Before (2020)


Forget About You
For A While
Interesting World
Don't Wait Too Long
Be Myself

Photos

Bio

Kate Bowen is a singer-songwriter based in Maidstone, Kent (UK). Kate is a multi instrumentalist and draws her songwriting and performing inspiration from artists such as Suzanne Vega, Judie Tzuke, Joan Armatrading, and Mary Chapin-Carpenter. Kate has travelled extensively across the USA and much of the material from her first album 'The Things That Define Us' (2011) was influenced by these travelling experiences. Kate's new EP 'A Time Before' was released on 30/12/2020 which features themes of loss, relationships, and doing what you feel and think is the right thing to do.

Band Members