When Kat Robichaud walks out dressed in street clothes in San Francisco, it’s unlikely many of her fans will recognize her. A chameleon-like appearance is part of Robichaud’s appeal – she can play almost any role in her live performances and, as “Artists” shows, in her videos.
On the other hand, there is no way not to recognize her voice. Or The Voice, as some may know it. Robichaud sings with strength and dramatic flair, always. She molds her own songs and covers into stories that resonate with the audience. On “Artists,” The Voice goes seamlessly from whispering to that belting voice that reaches out and grabs the listener. It’s no surprise that Robichaud played The DNA Lounge recently with Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls).
Daniel Garcia, who plays guitar, bass, drums, and synth on the album also produced it.. Brendan Getzell, who performs with Robichaud’s live band The Darling Misfits, contributes piano. The accompaniment is terrific and does its job of putting Robichaud’s voice out front where it is so effective.
About the song, Robichaud says “I first got the idea for the song when I was visiting an art gallery downtown. There was a particular exhibit that caught my attention- several black and white images of impoverished America from the 60s. And I thought it was interesting that even though these people were obviously poor and their clothing was dirty and beat up, they looked beautiful.” The stunning video, by Andy Strong and Mark Semegen, uses images from Life magazine around social justice issues, addressing the distancing that can easily take place. Perhaps the line in the song that drives it home is “”Please show me how we kept our heads held high/ how we carried ourselves/ how we handed down the fight/ how we buried ourselves”
Watch “Artist” by Kat Robichaud:
Read the SF Sonic interview with Kat Robichaud earlier this year here.
Read the SF Sonic review of Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret here.
Photo by Jeff Spirer.