Katey Brooks’ new single “In Your Arms,” premiering exclusively below, came from pain. And it’s brought the British singer-songwriter some gain, too.
The stark, soulful track from Brooks’ first full-length album, expected out next year, was inspired by a romantic breakup a few months ago. “It kind of broke my whole world open,” Brooks tells Billboard. “There’s still a lot of love there, but kind of different ideas about life and future and stuff. There was always a little bit of doubt as to how much I loved this person, and this song just kind of fell out of me a couple of months ago, in about 20 minutes. It was just my way of saying, ‘Well, actually, I really do love you…’ It’s a total love song.” Listen below and here.
And the message apparently came through loud and clear; Brooks and her girlfriend have reconciled since the latter heard “In Your Arms.” “She heard it through somebody else who had the rough mix and she got in contact with me,” Brooks says. “That was definitely not what I expected. So now there’s quite a story behind it.” As for the relationship, Brooks adds, “We’re talking again, yeah. Watch this space.”
Meanwhile, Brooks — who was raised in a “crazy cult” in the American Southwest until the age of 10 — will have plenty more to say once the album, Hearing Voices, comes out during the spring of 2019. “It’s been a long time coming,” Brooks says of the follow-up to the 2016 EP I Fought Lovers, noting that she did record an album back before that was scuttled by record label machinations. Some of those songs will be part of Hearing Voices, Brooks says, along with other material written since then.
“Most of the record will be quite similar to ‘In Your Arms,'” Brooks says. “I’m sort of building the tracks around the chorale backing vocals rather than the backing chorale building around the instruments, ’cause that’s how I hear songs now, with the voices. When I write songs and then start thinking about arrangement and construction, that’s always the thing I hear first and that’s the bit I get the most excited about, so I thought, ‘Right, why not do a whole record doing it that way and see where it takes me?’ Obviously the title came from that.”
Hearing Voices will feature other love songs, but Brooks also notes that, “I do write about other things, but (love) is obviously a big part of our lives, isn’t it. The songs have been a means to emote; When I can’t necessarily physically emote, it will come through my songs. They’ve definitely been therapy, in a way. A lot of people will say, ‘I feel a lot when I listen to something you’ve written,’ so I’m not the only one it works for.”