Since moving across the state from Spokane in September 2009, Kaylee Cole has become a fixture in the Seattle music scene with her powerful voice and piano skills. When she’s not working on her second LP with TV on the Radio’s guitarist/producer Dave Sitek—a three-year project that may (finally) see the light of day—she pops up everywhere. This Friday, she’ll play the late-night art party at Bellevue Arts Museum, and on March 29, she joins the Bushwick Book Club Seattle for its homage to graphic novel Watchmen. And once a month, she mans the grand piano in the back corner of Vito’s on First Hill, playing Tom Waits covers and trying out new material. People aren’t coming for the cannelloni those nights; they’re there to see Kaylee Cole.
For our latest Fiendish Conversation, we chatted with the singer-songwriter, who apologized for being a bit out of sorts because she hadn’t had her coffee yet… at 1:30 pm. (Insert jealousy of musician lifestyle here.)
You’re playing in really diverse settings of late. Is there a reason for that?
I’ve been playing with the same setup for the last four years. Playing shows like Vito’s, or playing a museum or with the Seattle Rock Orchestra, it’s more for me and the people that keep coming back to see me—so things don’t get stale. And I’m waiting on this record I’ve been working on to get done. The record is so dynamic and spacey with so many sounds—bass, drum, all that stuff I’ve never had in my music before—so until the record is done and I can begin to play those kind of shows, I’m kind of open to anything that is a non-traditional space.
What’s the status on the new record?
We’re, like, 95.7 percent finished. It’s just in the process of being mixed and mastered. Ideally, I’d like it to be out for the world by fall, before 2012 is over, because the world is going to end and CD record sales are going to go down once it’s all over.
What would you do if you weren’t a musician?
I would probably go to school to become an esthetician, which is a person that gives other people facials. I also want to learn how to be a doula, which is like a midwife but not. You don’t deliver the baby, but you’re pretty much like a midwife. I’d like to be a doula regardless of whether or not music is my job for the rest of my life, but I’d want to have kids first before I coached somebody on how to give birth to one.
What’s your preshow routine?
I always have to take a shower. I usually drink a glass of red wine. Always warm up my voice in the bathroom or greenroom beforehand. I usually keep a couple of crystals or gemstones that I like nearby and I always smudge before the show. Smudging is what Native American shamans do; it’s burning sage. ‘Cause I am one of those girls that are into that ’Shit New Age Girls Say’ phase.
How do you unwind after a show?
I hug a lot of people. I am open for compliments.
Mar 9 after 8, BAMignite, Bellevue Arts Museum
Mar 20 & Apr 12 @ 9, Vito’s
Mar 29 with Bushwick Book Club @ 8, Chop Suey