Words by / Hank Holmes
From the stylings of classic songwriting and Americana folk, Corinne Bates constructs a modern take on the genre from a sonic architecture built by those before her. With her newest EP Too Sad to Fall Asleep, she acutely portrayed her personal, emotional, and hauntingly beautiful sound.
Music came somewhat naturally to Corinne, having come in and out of almost her entire life. “When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I played the talent shows, and thought - this is really cool” she told me on a calm day in Austin, Texas, while continuing to detail her early interest in music saying that “The second I found out that people do music, I knew that was something I wanted to do”. It seems that this early start of music has rifted through Corinne’s career. Having picked up a guitar and adjacent lessons around the age of 11, expressing herself was never a question. She quickly began going outside of the recommendations of her teacher and learning her favorite assortments of music from pop-punk to oldies. It was this array of genres and interests that seems to have translated in her modern songwriting, as Corinne takes the classic candor of artists like Carole King and the looming melodies and depth of modern artists like Phoebe Bridgers. “As I got older, I circled back.” Corinne tells me, continuing to describe her newfound appreciation for artists like Elliot Smith, and how the act of retroactively finding interest in this kind of music has framed her own songwriting. It is almost in an embracement of blique nostalgia how Corinne Bates appreciates, references, and pushes the music that once defined a generation.
As for the recent past, Corinne has devoted her time to writing songs to express something deep inside herself - an ethos that resonates throughout her music. Too Sad to Fall Asleep does this almost hauntingly, where a story that one may not know any details to, immediately is understood by the end of a three minute song. When writing the EP, Corinne says that “these were the songs that I felt like I needed to write” and that they were “just happening”, coming out of her heart and voice in her individualistic tone.
Corinne’s happenings translate wonderfully live as well, where as she stands on stage naturally securing attention from the crowd. She prefers to start quiet and gradually fill the room with her unique vocal tambor, keeping an already interested audience entrenched in her performance. Her personality and individuality come out on stage. Corinne may tell brief one-liners about the upcoming song, but really lets the story be told through the music. With a song like “Transgressions”, the odd guitar line is accented by a vocal melody sitting on top of it, and will bring the listener on the intended journey Corinne constructed when writing and practicing for the moment.
While Corinne writes for herself and herself only, the community has responded. Her imperfections relate to all of us who have similar if not the same ones, and gives the listener a sense of understanding - even when a subject is concerning the personal. Corinne does this nicely, capturing the listener with her personality, and having them devoted throughout her music and story. Corinne tells me she is excited to expand her sonic horizons, and with new music coming in the ever-eminent future, friends, fans, and the world awaits for Corinne Bates’ next release.
Listen to her EP here.