Singing her song

Forest Hill Collegiate grad laments leaving home in latest album release

The title of Forest Hill Collegiate alumni Kat Goldman’s new album says a lot about her current lifestyle.

Her latest CD, Gypsy Girl, touches on the trials of tribulations of a life split between her hometown of Toronto and her new nest in Boston.

“This whole new record is about what it means to get on the road and make a big life change at any point in your life,” says the singer-songwriter. “The struggle between Toronto and Boston for me, the struggle of leaving home and finding a new home, it all ended up in the songs.”

The 41-year-old Goldman began her folk music career in Toronto in her 20s. While she loved the music, the business took its toll on her morale.

“I became disheartened by the industry,” she said. “It’s a very difficult industry. So I decided to make a change for myself later in life.”

Although she left the city behind, at least temporarily, the music never left her. After taking classes at Harvard University she enrolled fulltime at Boston University to study English literature.

“I’m actually just interested in becoming more well-read and I felt that (studying English) could help my lyric writing, which I feel it has,” Goldman said.

This was not the first time Goldman has faced the prospect of leaving home. In 2004, she nearly moved to New York City after signing with the same manager that represented some of her folk idols including Dar Williams, Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega.

But fate had a different plan.

“One week before I left I was standing in a bagel bakery in Toronto and a car came crashing through the storefront window and crushed me inside of the store, up against the back wall and they had to rush me to emergency for surgery on my leg,” she said. “It took me a good couple of years to really walk again and get back my strength.”

She recorded her second album, Sing Your Song, after that experience. Goldman said she has evolved as a songwriter and as a person since then and that it shows through in Gypsy Girl.

“I’m very proud of this new batch of songs,” she said. “I think they reflect more maturity and life experience and wisdom.”

As the title suggests, Goldman spent much of her time travelling while writing and recording her new album. Half the CD was recorded in Toronto while the other half was completed in Boston. She said the Boston songs are more acoustic-driven while the Toronto-recorded songs are more pop influenced. She even considered splitting the album, record style, into two sides but in the end decided to mash the two sounds together.

“We decided that there might be a bit of a different sonic quality going from the Toronto recording to the Boston recording but that it didn’t matter because it was all part of the journey, it was all part of the idea that there’s this marriage between the two cities,” she said.

Goldman frequently visits friends and family in Toronto but spends most of her time south of the border. However, she will be performing in town on April 10 at Hugh’s Room on Dundas Street West for the release of her new album. Afterward, the CD can be purchased online at cdbaby.com or maplemusic.com.

“It’s very hard nowadays to find the music that touches your heart and I really encourage people to decide for themselves what good music is and what good songwriting is,” she said. “My goal, when I write a song, is to touch people’s hearts, to touch something there that they can relate to.”


About this article:

By: Tristan Carter
Posted: Apr 17 2012 12:58 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto
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