Photo Credit: Lauren Dukoff
Some will spend their entire life searching for the place that pushes them in ways that lead to vivid bursts of inspiration. While Kerry Hart was creating music long before she settled down in Los Angeles, she was truly taken when the City of Angels became her home.
“Being here and taking in the incredible music scene and the level of talent in the numerous musicians I had never heard of, hearing beautiful personal songs, this city absolutely raised the bar high.”
Now that the bar is set, Kerry Hart is ready to rise above it with her upcoming album, I Know a Gun. Out soon it features the titular single – which we talked about, along with her environmental efforts, and more!
Kendra: Your debut single, “I Know a Gun” isn’t so cut and dry as it’s not about weaponry at all but rather that feeling when you meet someone and they just get you. Was that written about reality or an ideal fantasy?
Kerry Hart: In every song, I write there is a seed of personal truth, and from there I can go to to a blend of experiences; mine, people I love, strangers, characters. Then the craft of fiction and metaphor comes into play. I think all my songs are at their essence true stories. “I Know a Gun” is about that moment when you realize you have an equal in another person, and the chemistry and alchemy and sheer possibilities that open up upon that meeting. It a highly vulnerable moment. Despite that rush of truth, the other person can always walk away.
Kendra: While “Secret Garden” isn’t a single, it did make me think to ask…if I Know a Gun as a whole were to be comprised of a few flowers, what would they be and how do you feel they’d represent the sounds, moods, and overall tone of the record?
Kerry Hart: Wow what an interesting question. I think I would have to begin with a red rose for the mystery of love and passion, like on “Aaron,” the sultry bass tones, and “Take This World” which is an epic love anthem. Next, I think lavender for its fragrance that evokes the wilderness of Southern California, the cello notes that linger as if in the breeze on “Sirens” and “Where We Go.” White sage because of the intensity of the fragrance and the feeling of the open desert in “I Know A Gun” and night sky that prevails on “Screaming Quietly.” Lastly, an orchid for the beauty and the singularity of each orchid because some of the songs, “Time Yields,” and “Great Water” for example, they came in as improvised pieces almost fully formed and their existence to me is somewhat of a miracle. What an evocative question.
Kendra: The record is done, it’s off to be mixed and you think – let’s go to Ireland? Was that something that you had thought of while recording or was it a spur of the moment idea when the record was done?
Kerry Hart: That trip came to me more than a year before we cut the record people are beginning to hear now. I had written a song, “Lay Me Down,” that was very much inspired by an Irish folk song. And I just felt in my bones that I wanted to go play in Ireland, in pubs, for people who looked at music as a part of life and living and not just entertainment from some segment of the population who has those gifts. The vision was really about connecting with the culture and its internalization of music. It was everything I dreamed it would be and then more.
Kendra: When will people get to see the ins and outs of life on the road in Ireland in short film Caves and Cathedrals?
Kerry Hart: I believe people can look forward to enjoying our antics and adventures in 2020.
Kendra: On top of the music, you’re also passionate about saving the planet alongside Eden Reforestation Projects. How did you connect with them and can you tell us a little more about the partnership?
Kerry Hart: I feel a deep soul level connect with trees, and I have since I was a child. I appreciate the gifts trees offer to mankind and wildlife and fauna. The food we harvest from trees alone include coffee, almonds, avocados, chocolate and coconut and that is before you recognize that they naturally convert carbon which is warming our atmosphere into breathable oxygen.
I want to do more because there is no time to wait. We have to pivot to warming mitigation immediately. It’s really urgent. I am committed to reforestation. It is an action we can take that repairs harm we have caused by harvesting natural resources to meet human needs and desires. I was actively looking for a partner to plant trees with and Eden Reforestation is an incredible organization. They have 85 sites across 5 countries where they manage the seedlings to full growth, which locally provides jobs, and they plant intentionally to strengthen the existing forests adjacent.
With Eden, our beginning was to plant one tree every time someone pre-saves my debut album on Spotify. But I am hopeful that my partnership can deepen with them, where we can plant a tree when an album, shirt or ticket is bought. That is my intention. I would love to see artists and bands lead the charge on climate change engagement. This needs to be a movement and it needs to happen right now.
Kendra: Lastly, tell the people what you have coming up? When to expect I Know a Gun, and if they can see you playing stateside soon…
Kerry Hart: I am excited to say that we have a lot of exciting things in the works, including a few singles this fall along with a few videos before the full album is released early next year. We are also working on some special shows on both the east and west coasts. The best way to stay in touch with all of our activities and shows as we roll out the album is to follow me on Instagram.