Though her main focus the past two years has been her work with local band Cowboy Indian Bear, Katlyn Conroy has been engrossed with her solo project, La Guerre, as well.
She released a La Guerre EP in the summer and is working on a conceptual musical theater venture for next year.
She sat down with Ink recently to talk all things music.
1. What’s the album that influences you the most and why?
“ ‘Digital Ash in a Digital Urn’ by Bright Eyes. I’ll be honest, every single Bright Eyes album could probably be the answer, but this one in particular kind of combined everything that inspires me about Mr. (Conor) Oberst’s writing. I love how the album works conceptually, and all of the tiny, beautifully dark details. I still get chills when I listen to this album and will continue to aspire to write something this good one day.”
2. What kind of music did your parents listen to when you were growing up?
“My dad listened to mainly Pink Floyd, Jimmy Buffet, and James Taylor. The darker, experimental aspects of Pink Floyd really inspired me. My mom listened to a lot of Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan. The powerful female vocals definitely gave me something to aim for.”
3. What’s the first album you bought with your own money?
“ ‘On Avery Island’ by Neutral Milk Hotel. In junior high a good friend’s brother played us ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,’ and I was so taken, I went out and bought everything Jeff Mangum I could find. It was so rare to hear anything sound so raw and truthful.”
4. What’s an album you’ve never gotten tired of listening to?
“ ‘Zitilites’ by Kashmir. It has a very wide range, so it fits a lot of my moods. There’s also something that Kasper Eistrup does with all of his vocal melodies that strikes me in this inexplicable way. I feel this lift from within my chest, and it’s very beautiful.”
5. What’s the most recent album you’ve fallen in love with?
“ ‘Grey Oceans’ by CocoRosie. Those girls have always been close to my heart, but ‘Grey Oceans’ brought it to a whole other level. I love the vocal subtleties (the best example of this is in the song ‘RIP Burnface’), and the choice of instrumentation is so creative.”
6. What song helped you find your voice as a musician?
“When I was 12, I heard ‘A Perfect Sonnet’ by Bright Eyes off the ‘Every Day and Every Night’ album. I couldn’t believe how much emotion was captured and how affecting it was, and it made me realize that I should never hold back. I should yell when I want to and not worry about how ‘pretty’ my voice sounds. I want to be real, and to this day the most common compliment I get is how emotional, how transparent I allow myself to be on stage.”