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Interview: Vox Rea Talk Their Debut Single ‘Dose Me Up’, Rebranding, Name Origin + More | SoundZine
Originally known as The Katherines, this Vancouver-based trio has rebranded and returned under the moniker Vox Rea.
Sisters Kate (lead vocals/piano/guitar/bass) and Lauren Kurdyak (vocals/piano) and childhood best friend Kaitlyn Hansen-Boucher (vocals/percussion) – joined by Mitchell Schaumberg (vocals/piano/guitar/bass), are looking to take charge with a fresh name, vision and – most importantly, new music done their way:
“We learned that you have to steer your own ship otherwise someone else will steer it in a direction you don’t want to go. The move to Vox Rea is us commandeering our ship.”
Back in 2017, The Katherines released their first album To Bring You My Heart with 604 Records – amassing over a million plays on Spotify with songs featured on playlists from New Music Friday to Indie Pop Chillout to the Canada Viral 50 chart. Along with heavy rotation on streaming platforms, their songs were also featured on popular television shows including Orphan Black, Reboot and The Order.
With the birth of Vox Rea comes their debut single – “Dose Me Up.” The track introduces an individualistic brand of noir pop – blending string arrangements and harmonies into a dreamy soundscape fueled by personal sentiment.
“We wrote ‘Dose Me Up’ on our grandmother’s piano at home in late October. The nostalgia of being in our childhood home had a big influence on the song – it’s a bit of a lament. The word nostalgia actually comes from the Greek word nostos, which roughly translates into homecoming, and algos, or pain. Taken together, nostalgia roughly translates to the return of pain. The elusiveness and flavour of that nostalgia created the melancholy mood you hear in the song – a sort of reckoning with the relentless nature of time.”
Fascinated by the contradictions inherent in the human experience, Vox Rea construct introspective and immersive alt pop tunes – aimed to act as a soundtrack to the confusion and euphoria of coming of age in a postmodern world. Described as a celebration of free will and an ode to the paralyzing nature of choice, Vox Rea’s music is both “the intoxicating night roaming and the guilty morning after, a revelry in excess and an exercise in solemn self-reflection.”
Looking ahead, Vox Rea have more singles to come as well as a full-length album set for release in 2021.
Q: What was the deciding factor in rebranding and a starting new project?
It was a very symbolic change for us. We started out in this industry as 14 year olds so there was a big learning curve as we grew up as a band over the last decade. We learned that you have to steer your own ship otherwise someone else will steer it in a direction you don’t want to go. The move to Vox Rea is us commandeering our ship.
Q: Where does the name Vox Rea originate from? What is Vox Rea hoping to bring to the music world?
We’ve been looking for a new band name for a long time. We spent hours going through the long lists of all the band name ideas we had come up with over the last few years (most of them were garbage or already taken). Vox Rea came from putting two obscure concepts together. We like it because the meaning is ambiguous. That also sums up our ethos as artists in terms of what we want to bring to the music world. We want to make art that leaves the interpretation up to each individual listener, that people can make their own.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
Genre-fluid, atmospheric, lyric driven sound waves?
Q: What can you tell us about your single “Dose Me Up”:
The song is a melancholic meditation on the transition from childhood to adulthood. We wrote it at a weird transitional time when we had come back to our family home after travelling with our band for a few months. There was a strange sense of nostalgia in the house that influenced the song. Dose Me is an unresolved dialogue between childhood reverence and adult indifference.
Q: What’s getting you through these times?
COVID-19 has has forced us to completely reevaluate how we approach our lives and work. Initially it felt like the whole future we had planned for ourselves was erased and it took a while to break out of that feeling. But the silver lining has been that without a clear future you’re forced to focus completely on the present and think outside the box. We just wake every day and try to create something new.
Q: What’s next for Vox Rea?
More singles and lots of visuals to come. Our full album is also mastered and ready to go and we can’t wait to get it out into the world in 2021.