Kate Dinsmore’s new EP ‘Version of Me’ is a cathartic wail and its comedown – the singer-songwriter finds her way through life’s fragile moments.
Stream: ‘Version of Me’ – Kate Dinsmore
I fucking want to sing loud.
That’s what singer-songwriter Kate Dinsmore says of “Version of Me,” the title track and centerpiece to her new EP. And she does. For a musician whose focus has been jazz, theatre, and rock, she is incredibly convincing as a lightning-eyed country wailer, bellowing uncertainty and catharsis over an intensifying bed of guitar. It’s a slow burn, Dinsmore’s voice starting soft and building to a crescendo of voice breaks and belted choruses. “It’s a bittersweet track…but these days it’s mostly sweet,” Dinsmore says.
Now I’ve been living without you darlin’
And I think I’d rather be
This version of me
– Kate Dinsmore, “Version of Me”
Though the EP is only five tracks, it’s powerful — Dinsmore handily weaves through vintage-sounding chord progressions and stories of metamorphosis. Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Kate Dinsmore’s new EP, Version of Me (out August 20, 2021 via Dutch Records).
“Version of Me” is in sharp contrast to the EP’s opening number, “Patience,” which is more hymn than song. “Patience, it pains me,” she sings atop an ethereal ring of steel pedal guitar and vocal harmonies. Even in the EP’s calmest moments, it’s clear that Dinsmore wants to speak her mind.
Version of Me is a series of introspective moments. Though many of the songs focus their energy outwards — people, places, the winters of the PNW — they are about Dinsmore’s own mind. She describes “Patience” as talking to herself. The album’s second track, “Middle of Tomorrow,” is about isolation — she deftly mirrors the struggles of seasonal depression, focusing on small details and “unsteady spiraling,” all with the hope that someday she’ll be okay. The jaunty, radio-ready single “What’s the Point?” is Dinsmore talking herself down from loving someone who can’t — or won’t — stay.
Dinsmore’s music is difficult to pinpoint in terms of genre — her style ranges from 60s country to modern indie rock, with bright guitar tones and her clear, powerful voice. Her music’s wide range of influences is obvious, but her own vision is what’s most enticing. After being “directed in bands” for much of her career, the EP felt like the perfect place to let go.
“This EP was my chance to be as grand as I chose,” she says.
Version of Me is full of moments of beautiful grandeur, and yet this is likely only a peek into what Dinsmore is capable of. Perhaps the next version of Kate Dinsmore will be even grander. Read on for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of the EP.
Stream: ‘Version of Me’ – Kate Dinsmore
:: Inside Version of Me ::
I wanted the opening track, “Patience,” to sound like an orchestra warming up for a performance. We created that sound by using only pedal steel guitar and vocals. This is probably my favorite track on the record because it has such an intimate feel. I’m talking to myself about falling for someone far too quickly, when I had stated so many times that I was going to stay single, and create this new life for myself entirely on my own.
Middle of Tomorrow
“Middle of Tomorrow” tackles an entirely different struggle. Growing up in the PNW and being a very active kid, I didn’t notice the ominous gray cloud over me from November through February. That compounded with a year in isolation and my growing anxiety dealing with social media, it can take a toll on you. “Middle of Tomorrow” is by far the most experimental production we have used thus far. I wanted it to sound like mood swings. That’s what the winter is like living here. Some days you are grateful for the time spent indoors to focus on introspection and writing. And some days you don’t get out of bed because you know you won’t see the sun anyway.
What’s the Point?
I love this song. It’s so cathartic to sing. People always ask me who it’s about and I tell them that every time I sing it it’s about someone else. Yes, the initial inspiration was about one specific incident, but it’s changing all the time. The guitar riff and tone is the driving force on this track; it keeps it fun and upbeat while the vocals keep it powerful. I like to think I have a little Taylor Swift in me. Like, you piss me off? Yeah, there’s probably a song written about you.
Version of Me
“Version of Me” came when I needed it the most. I was struggling with life in a new place and all of the challenges that come along with that. But despite what I was going through, I was able to see that I was finally being true to myself. I was following my instincts for the first time in years, and making music that I wanted to sing. That’s the best part of this EP, every song just feels good to sing. I get to be dramatic and big because I wrote it and I fucking want to sing loud. The bridge in this song still shows my internal struggle of wondering, “Did I make the right choice? Should I have stayed and worked it out?” Then those last two choruses open up to where I know I made the right decision. It’s a bittersweet track…but these days it’s mostly sweet.
This was initially written as the last verse to patience, but the musical theatre student in me loves a good reprise. It’s a nice little bow to tie the tunes together — a cool down moment after the drama of the previous 3 tracks.
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📸 © 2021
:: Stream Version of Me ::