It's a New Year's resolution few are likely to make: Kacy Crowley would like to be less honest.
"I used to try really hard to be honest and direct, but I think the concept of honesty in art is an illusion," she posits. "People tend to create these crafty little stories out of half-truths, or they outright lie. This time, I'm not interested in being so direct and in explaining myself in such honest terms. I'm over that. If I had to tell the truth, it would be totally boring or completely depressing."
The boring part is the downtime since Atlantic released the local singer-songwriter's 1997 major label debut, Anchorless. The depressing part is how little it and the re-released 1998 version sold. But Crowley says that during the downtime, she actually made quite a bit of progress: She's already written and demoed more than 40 new songs, some of which she wrote last year at Miles Copeland's French castle with collaborators Mark Eitzel, Wayne Kirkpatrick (Chris Gaines), and Pat MacDonald. In fact, her association with MacDonald ultimately led to an invitation for him to produce her album, which resulted in the heartbreak of some carefully planned Wisconsin recording sessions that Atlantic canceled at the last minute.
"There's definitely going to be another Atlantic record this year, but other than having all the songs, I still can't put my finger on what kind of record it will be," she says. "I know exactly what kind of record I don't want to make. There's a certain element of singer-songwriter in me that's going to be impossible to remove, but I'm looking at something less roosty and more modern. Anchorless was the perfect representation of who I was at the time, but it was recorded on a shoestring budget and I don't feel like I got to explore who I was sonically or artistically. Figuring out exactly who I am has been a challenge, but I know I'm not that person from four years ago anymore."
While Crowley jokes about having recently morphed into a more mysterious and optimistic character she calls "Kacy 2000," she says just being a few months closer to picking a producer and recording is good enough news for her.
"All the downtime has taught me is that when I'm working, I'm happy," she laughs. "I'm not feeling that rushed either. There's been enough time between Anchorless and now that it could be a good thing. Anybody that didn't like me will have forgotten by now. It's a fresh start. In that way, it feels like I'm finally working on my first record."
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