UK singer/songwriter Katy J Pearson was first one half of the duo Ardyn before going solo with her 2020 debut album Return. That album quickly stirred up buzz, and now she returns with new album Sound of the Morning, which was co-produced by Ali Chant (who also worked on her debut) and Speedy Wunderground's Dan Carey. It's her first release since she found herself in the indie music spotlight, which is something she addressed on the album's breezy lead single "Talk Over Town," which she said is about "being Katy from Gloucester, but then being Katy J Pearson who's this buzzy new artist," and which finds Katy ruminating on the realization that fame doesn't always bring happiness ("all this talk over town makes me feel like I'm going crazy"). Like that song, much of this album finds Katy looking at some darker lyrical topics as she offers up bright, warm, welcoming music, making good on Katy's promise to "always strive for the bittersweetness of things." The album treks through folk, heartland rock, jangle pop, danceable indie pop, and more, and it always sounds calming. "I want people to feel things with my music, but I don't want to cause my listener too much trauma," she jokingly adds, and Sound of the Morning is indeed an album that will make you feel. Listen below.

We asked Katy to tell us a little more about the inspirations behind Sound of the Morning and her list includes music (Vashti Bunyan, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, more), books, films, places and more. Read that with her commentary below.

Katy has UK dates through the summer, and will play a few European shows opening for Pavement this fall. All dates are listed below.

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1. The Wickerman (1973) film & soundtrack by Magnet & Paul Giovanni
I watched The Wickerman some time last year and I adored it. I’ve always been obsessed with old folklore traditions so this film was right up my street. The soundtrack was also wonderful and once I’d watched the film I couldn’t stop listening to it so I feel sonically some of the production elements from the soundtrack trickled into my own album.

2. My few weeks in Modbury, Devon last summer
I’ve been going down to south Devon since I was a baby and I find it a wonderful safe space to clear my head when I’m burnt out creatively and emotionally. I always camp down there with my family and find the yearly ritual really grounding. So I think this aspect of my life is really important for me when it comes to my songwriting and making things.

3. Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day
Vashti Bunyan is one of my favourite songwriters — I’ve just finished her memoir actually, which is truly beautiful. This record has soothed me many a time when I’ve been feeling out of sorts. It’s a record for me that teaches simplicity can be key sometimes, and you don’t always have to chuck every instrument in the world at one track. Vashti’s music was a constant for me during recording as it just calmed me and sent me to a magical world when I needed it.

4. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu
This record is a staple for me and I find myself coming back to it time and time again, to learn and to listen. All the songs are amazing and I find it a very inspiring listen. My favourite track from that record is “Almost Cut My Hair” .. David Crosby’s passion in that song is wild and wonderful.

5. Angela Carter - The Bloody Chambers
I’ve always loved Angela Carter and this book especially helped me to delve into my darker side of mind and songwriting. I still have a way to go but The Bloody Chambers is a spine tingling and seductive series of short stories that will definitely freak you out a bit.

6. Deborah levy - The Cost of Living
I read this book in the midst of the summer and found it to be the most beautiful book .. so honest, and really stayed with me. It opened a few layers within me that had been quiet for a while, also opening up my heart a lot for the final songs on the record.

7. Still Life by Sarah Winman
Same with this book .. I adored it and the reflection on life and love really inspired me and lingered in my thoughts weeks after reading it.

8. St Andrews park, Bristol during spring
Once lock down in England started easing, St. Andrews park was a main spot where I’d walk to or hang out with friends, or spend time on my own early evening sat on the bench and try for once to take some deep breaths (like my mum always reminds me to do) .. it was a good routine for me during those bizarre and crazy months and those walks around the park definitely kept me sane.

9. Summer mornings at my parents house in Stroud
I was so happy when I was finally allowed to go back home and see my parents once restrictions eased last year. Stroud is a beautiful place and my parents live on top of a hill overlooking Rodborough Common and the wildlife you’d spot in the morning was so beautiful. I find the sound of the birds in the morning just the best sound, and almost certainly sparked the idea in my mind for the album title …

10. My close friends and their stories
The observations in life of family and friends are so essential for me and I am such a sensitive soul that absorbs a lot that’s around me. I am blessed to have the most glorious friends and family and it sounds cheesy but they really are such an inspiration to me for my writing and songs, even if sometimes it's subconscious.

KATY J PEARSON - 2022 TOUR DATES
08.07.22 – Rough Trade – BRISTOL (full band show) *
09.07.22 – Pie & Vinyl – SOUTHSEA (lunchtime 4-piece show) *
09.07.22 – Resident – BRIGHTON (evening 4-piece show) *
10.07.22 – Rough Trade – NOTTINGHAM (lunchtime 4-piece show) *
11.07.22 – Jumbo – LEEDS (4-piece show) *
12.07.22 – Rough Trade East – LONDON (full band show) *
13.07.22 – Friendly Records – BRISTOL (4-piece show) *
22.07.22 – Bluedot – MACCLESFIELD
23.07.22 – Latitude – SOUTHWOLD
29.07.22 – Deer Shed – THIRSK
10.08.22 – Winterthurer Musilfestwochen – WINTERTHUR, CH
19.08.22 – Green Man – CRICKHOWELL
21.08.22 – Beautiful Days – OTTERY ST MARY, DEVON
08.09.22 – Trinity – BRISTOL
09.09.22 – Cornish Bank – FALMOUTH
10.09.22 – Cavern – EXETER
11.09.22 – Joiners – SOUTHAMPTON
13.09.22 – Chalk – BRIGHTON
14.09.22 – Olby’s – MARGATE
15.09.22 – Electric Ballroom – LONDON
17.09.22 – Brudenell Social Club – LEEDS
18.09.22 – The Cluny – NEWCASTLE
20.09.22 – Voodoo Rooms – EDINBURGH
21.09.22 – Mono – GLASGOW
22.09.22 – Gorilla – MANCHESTER
24.09.22 – Float Along – SHEFFIELD
25.09.22 – Rescue Rooms – NOTTINGHAM
27.09.22 – Clwb Ifor Bach – CARDIFF
28.09.22 – Hare & Hounds – BIRMINGHAM
30.09.22 – The Bullingdon – OXFORD
01.10.22 – Ritual Union - BRISTOL
04.11.22 – Pier 2 – BREMEN, DE ^
05.11.22 – Tempodrom – BERLIN, DE ^
07.11.22 – Cirque Royal – BRUSSELS, BE ^
08.11.22 - Royal Carré – AMSTERDAM, NL ^

^ with Pavement
* in-store shows

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