To celebrate the release of Katie Wighton's debut album, The End, she's taken The Music through the "labour of love" of making the record.
When I was in high school, I was in the army cadet band - stay with me here... Our high school band teacher was the leader of the Queensland Army Reserve Band and he roped me and three of my high school pals into being part of the cadet band. I played the piccolo and the flute (with braces) and sometimes the cymbals. I know. I was a VERY cool kid. What’s this got to do with making an album? Hang in there. I promise I’ll make my point.
It was in the army cadet band that I decided I wanted to study jazz at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. And it was at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music that I would meet the person I’d make my first album with. And I’m pretty sure that this is where my addiction to making records began.
At the Con, I made a scholarship-funded jazz album full of “clever” lyrics and heartfelt ballads. Stories of a 19-year-old, finding her voice (literally), falling in love, grieving and growing up. I didn’t know it at the time, but that first foray into making an album got me completely, utterly hooked.
I blame my next truly embarrassing pop EP on the fact that I was no longer in control - thankfully that EP never managed to find its way onto the internet. After that came another EP of sad folk songs. And another of “haunting harmonies and vivid lyrical imagery” - thank you to The Music for that lovely quote!
EP after EP, I just kept making them. Why was I doing this? People would ask me, and I would say “I don’t know, I just can’t seem to stop!” It seemed my path was set and I was indeed, hopelessly, madly in love with making music.
I met the wonderful Elana Stone, Georgia Mooney and Hannah Crofts and we formed the band All Our Exes Live in Texas. And our addiction began. We wrote and recorded an EP and then an album, When We Fall which went on to win the ARIA for the Best Blues and Roots Album in 2017. This is (and always will be) an absolute career highlight for me. To be given that honour by our audience and peers is truly one of my proudest achievements. All thanks to this compulsion, this love affair that I have with writing, making and recording music.
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By 2019, I had a bunch of songs that were a bit yelly for Exes. I could hear loud, biting guitars and trashy drums - I was going through a breakup at the time… And so, another EP was born in 2020.
That brings us to 2023. I have a fresh bunch of songs ready for your listening (hopefully) pleasure. This album is all about endings. Some of them are temporary, and some of them are a little more permanent.
I’m proud of this album, I really am. And it was definitely a labour of love - albeit a little interrupted by *ahem* a global pandemic. But if I’m honest, I’m already thinking about the next one I want to make. Because that’s the thing about an addiction, right? You can never really get enough.
Katie Wighton's debut album, The End, is out now. You can stream it below or order a physical copy here.
Saturday, 8 July – Longplay, Melbourne
Thursday, 13 July – The Great Club, Sydney
Sunday, 23 July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane