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Reality Check with KT: Molly Sullivan

Reality Check with KT: Molly Sullivan

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I appreciate artists (and people) who have the ability to be transparent without being overly direct.  I like inferences and thought provoking lyrics, with music that causes your mind to dig a little deeper.  Such is the case with the music of singer-songwriter, Molly Sullivan.

I sat down with Molly this summer.  It’s slightly comical whenever Molly and I get together (which, is rarely).  We always end up cutting right from, “Hi, great to see you!” to heavyweight conversations about life, passions and things that really matter.  It’s been this way ever since I met Molly.  I’m glad for that.  I like people I connect to in that way.  We just don’t have much affinity for small talk, I suppose.  So, this “interview” was also a nice reconnect with Molly, but my notes were of little use to me, which just makes me giggle at myself.

You may remember Molly as front-woman of No No Knots.  She’s also in the new project, Prim (which will also be performing at Midpoint, on Saturday at The Drinkery, 10 p.m.)  Molly is, no doubt powerful in a band, but I think her true gift is as a singer-songwriter.  Molly is a painter of sound; layering cooey, crinkly sounds with thoughtful lyrics.  In her live performance she uses a loop station to create beautiful crescendos and harmonics.  She is excited to use this in some of her upcoming recordings because there is so much more you can do with looping in a studio setting than live allows.

Molly grew up in a suburban area that left her feeling stifled and less than inspired.  “You could be “creative”, but only in a box.”  There were tight parameters of what kind of creativity was deemed acceptable and Molly found herself outside of those lines often.  As an adult she has been able to find great collaborators and friends who support her vision in the urban music scene, particularly in Over The Rhine.  She spoke of going through a down cycle after a recent (temporary) collaboration, throwing a band together to perform her songs, with friends from Shadowraptor, No No Knots and Marburgh Collective.  She had a taste of what her songs could sound like with the support of brilliant musicians and the added fun and chemistry live with friends on board.  When it was over, she found herself down.  But, from the experience she realized how she wanted to present her songs in her upcoming album. 

She’s referring to the album in the works as a collective.  Some of the songs will be presented like her recordings on bandcamp (Winter ’13 and Badweather). These will stay familiar to her stripped down style but she’s also working on some with a more produced feel.  The percussion is of particular interest and she wants to craft a sound with more space and texture with a lo-fi feel. You can check out her tunes here and definitely check out her set, Thursday at MPMF, at the Christian Moerlein indoor stage!