Kathryn Rose

Kathryn Rose

BandRockAdult Contemporary

Kathryn Rose is an unusual mix of ambition and patience that has helped her accomplish some incredible feats. From working as one a top session singer, to touring North America fronting a symphony orchestra, to her current gig working with Sarah McLachlan on her world tour.

Biography

"Because I think I'm speaking in code in my songs, it gives me a thrill when others relate to them," Kathryn says. "I love language and I enjoy making a good story manifest musically."

From the screw-you lyrics over lilting pop of the first single "Something I Can Use," to the surprise reunion with a long-lost cousin set to a tumultuous backbeat in "Life's Luxurious", Kathryn's music sucks in the listener, then packs a punch. She likes to mess with the status quo. "I guess I could be a pretty girl singing pretty songs, but that gets dull pretty quick."

Despite being dubbed "the Dark Queen of Subtlety who can make Mary Had a Little Lamb sound like the saddest song ever" by her peers, Kathryn has another take. "Personally I find many of my songs quite funny," she says. "They're full of in-jokes to me. I'm not always 'Tormented Serious girl,' I just play her onstage and maybe sometimes around the house. In real life, I'm a goofy girl, with a latent depressed streak."

Produced by Thomas Ryder Payne (Joydrop), My Little Flame was recorded in Toronto at Lionheart Studio, and includes a special guest appearance by Ron Sexsmith as a "Beautiful Boy" in the tearjerker last cut, "Virginia". The full list of band members on the album is impressive: Paul Brennan (Chantal Kreviazuk), George Koller (Holly Cole), Kevin Fox (Sarah Harmer), Bryden Baird (One Step Beyond, Esthero), longtime Kathryn Rose band members Josh Hicks and Dennis Mohammed (Spookey Ruben, Wild Strawberries), and Thomas Ryder Payne lending his own special touch on many instruments and to the programming.

The themes on My Little Flame range from overcoming a negative force in a relationship ("Something I Can Use"), to a 'beautiful kiss on the lips on the stairs on a night for the books' ("Deserving"), to Dionysian revelry ("Life's Luxurious").

There's an ode to a well-known late rock star Kathryn came to know ("Dear The Mother Of A Dead Son"), there's a period piece that tells the true story of the hand of fate placing a young bride's life in suspended animation ("Virginia"), and there's ("I Married Myself"), her new theme song for independent women, which ended up lending some of its imagery to the artwork.

My Little Flame stimulates not just orally but visually too, and that's on purpose. "Thomas and I consider this album quite filmic, and I wanted the artwork to look like film stills and raise some questions. I'm standing in that white prom/wedding dress with
this man. 'Who is the man? What are they doing in those clothes on the train tracks, in the empty swimming pool? What's the deal with the wagon?' All I'll say by explanation is, notice I'm always looking away from him, looking for my little flame," she explains. "I'm looking for the real love. Our pose is repeated with slight variations (different locations, different time of day or night) so that we become iconographic to the album. Plus I thought it would be fun to have the credit: 'male model' in my liner notes!"

Born in Toronto, Kathryn inherited her singing talent from her mother, who forfeited her own early dream to be a jingle singer to raise a family. She developed an appreciation for singing by eavesdropping on her mom rehearsing with her madrigal trio around the house. Kathryn sang in the choir all through grade school. "I remember coming home from school one day and asking my mother, 'Why does my voice shake when I sing? The kids are making fun of me at school.' She said, 'That's not shaking. That's VIBRATO!"

Kathryn's thespian father had the family often moving around. Once settled in Toronto after spending much of her youth in Vancouver, she developed serious interests in modern dance and singing as a theatre major attending Earl Haig's Claude Watson School of the Arts. Her dad's agent started sending her out on auditions and she landed parts in commercials, sitcoms and a couple of films. "I originally thought I would be an actor," she admits, "but being in bands at the same time, I had the luxury of comparing the hurdles of both worlds. In music it's easier to make your own work and chart your own course. I've never been any good at being at anyone's mercy. My motto has become: 'where the heart lies, the stomach will follow.'"

At 17, Kathryn and two friends started up their very first band, Lazy Grace. Toronto alternative luminary Andrew Cash invited the group to play several songs in the middle of his weekly Monday night set at the now defunct Spadina Hotel. "I credit Andrew with giving me my underage start in the clubs."

Kathryn then introduced two other friends: Jane Miller and Andres Castillo Smith. Together they would form Wind May Do Damage, a Latin and jazz-influenced pop group, which she would co-head for the next five years. WMDD played hundreds of shows, toured a little bit and released two independent albums, 1992's self-titled debut and 1994's The Binds of Blood, and a video for "The Lord's Bounty."

Kathryn has been offered opport

Lyrics

One Person

Written By: Kathryn Rose

It’s a roller coaster the next thrill is getting closer
I wanna make the most of this Beautiful life
You must know when to pick your moments, When to just behold them,
When they’re free, When their stolen
A word to the wise

One person who simply understands me, who loves me
Comes home early just to be with me, makes up for human cruelty
One person to put it in perspective, who’s subjective,
Who is on your side, when the world is not
To renew your faith in modern love

The blows just keep on coming, a conspiracy or something
They must think I’m made of stuffing the way they tear me apart
I wish it was that easy, less of me open to scrutiny.
Flattened to a two day recipe to the stars

One person who simply understands me, who loves me
Comes home early just to be with me, makes up for human cruelty
One person to put it in perspective, who’s subjective
Who is on your side, when the world is not
To renew your faith in modern love

Modern love

One person who simply understands me

Modern Love

It’s a roller coaster the next thrill is getting closer
I wanna make the most of this Beautiful life

Cliffhanger

Written By: Kathryn Rose

I am having trouble summoning all of the nights
We spent in the same bed
We were so wrong for each other I went to a doctor
To examine my head
He made no impression, just an indent on a cushion
'Til I fluffed it out
Mostly I was lonely for the horse that had just thrown me
So we pranced about

Throwing around words like love
What a lazy girl I was

(CHORUS)
What a cliffhanger
Butterfingers slipping off the edge
And all we want to know
Will he be the hero
Or will she plummet to her death
What a cliffhanger

I can talk all day about the one that got away
It's as easy as pie
The familiar smell of him, expressions never wearing thin
And time flew by
I slept between his shoulder blades, I really thought we had it made
Ace in the hole
But there's thin ice in paradise with climates undecided
Between hot and cold

One day he turned his back on me
He didn't do it lovingly

(CHORUS)
What a cliffhanger
Butterfingers slipping off the edge
And all we want to know
Will he be the hero
Or will she plummet to her death
What a cliffhanger
What a cliffhanger
Butterfingers slipping off the edge
What a cliffhanger
Butterfingers slipping off the edge

I've been asked to dinner and this one looks like a winner
I've just got a hunch
A little bird is telling me that if I'm patient there might be
Breakfast and lunch

To see if I was right or wrong
Stick around for my next song

Discography

Kathryn Rose - Kathryn Rose
Kathryn Rose - My little Flame
Kathryn Rose - Every Lurid Detail