It’s been a long time between drinks for fans of Something For Kate, but at long last, the band have today returned with the release of “Situation Room”, their first new single since 2012.
The last time music fans got a taste of new music from Something For Kate, the music scene looked quite a bit different. Apart from the obvious presence of live shows going around, we had festivals like the Big Day Out and Soundwave doing the rounds, The X Factor was still a thing, and we still had no idea when The Avalanches might return.
Thankfully, Something For Kate awoke from a six-year slumber back in 2012 to bless us with Leave Your Soul to Science, their sixth album and their fifth to hit the ARIA top ten.
Though they’ve never really left us, Something For Kate did indeed step away from the forefront a little bit, with frontman Paul Dempsey releasing a new solo record, and drummer Clint Hyndman focusing on Melbourne’s Yellow Bird Cafe, and the newly-opened Wowee Zowee in Mornington.
Though fans got a taster of new material from Something For Kate last year during Dempsey’s five-date residency at The Gasometer Hotel, it remained unclear when we would finally hear the group’s first new single in years. Now, we have our answer, with “Situation Room” officially being released today.
Following its premiere on Double J yesterday, Something For Kate bassist Stephanie Ashworth notes that it definitely felt a little strange to be releasing a new song under the band name after so long.
“It feels kind of surreal,” she explains. “It’s a relief, because it’s been a long time coming for us, and y’know, you work really hard on something, and lots of things sort of get in the way over the period of time. So, to finally be releasing ‘Situation Room’ is a huge relief.”
Of course, despite such a long time since their last piece of new material, Ashworth notes there was never any sense of apprehension that went into releasing the new track.
“I don’t know if we’ve had time to feel nervous,” she notes. “I think that we were aware it’s been a really long time. We wrote this particular song last year and Paul had the opportunity to play it live – solo acoustically – a few times.
“I saw him playing it over in Canada when we were making the record over there, and I just saw the reaction to when he played it, and I felt that it was a really nice, fresh, uplifting moment each time I heard him play it. I feel relieved to have it out because hopefully it’s uplifting for other people as well.
“It’s sort of like old Something For Kate, but to me it sounds a little different because of where Paul sings in his range, so whenever I hear it live, it feels fresh. It’s also a slightly different feel for us because it’s having a little bit of a play around with the soul genre, but putting a bit of a dark twist on it. It comes a little bit from the soul tradition in its feel and timing.”
While the song is undoubtedly Something For Kate at its core, it provides something of a continuation on from 2012’s Leave Your Soul to Science, and has been described as something of a “21st Century mash up of ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and ‘Everybody Hurts’, a soulful tribute to the frustration everybody knows when they can’t get what they want.”
“You hear the first line and you know what’s coming next,” Dempsey explains in a statement, “and that the person is illustrating all these ways how they have total control and can predict any outcome, but there’s one person they can’t get certainty over and grasp.”
Speaking of the song’s conception, Ashworth notes that the song came about relatively quickly for the band, with its origins dating back to a rehearsal session this time last year.
“It came from a bass part, which is not always how they come,” she explains. “A lot of the time it’ll come from a guitar part, or a keyboard part, but this one came from a bass part I was messing around with in the studio one day, and I think Paul just latched onto it, and we built it from there.”
Accompanying the song’s official release is a typically brilliant music video from the trio, which features light-hearted, almost candid footage of the group in California, interspersed with shots of them playing the track in a live studio setting.
“All of it was done in California, three weeks ago,” Ashworth explains. “We kind of just got out of America just as everything was kind of hitting, so we’ve just come out of isolation, actually.
“We landed from Los Angeles around the time those [COVID-19] cases were sort of being discovered, and they were coming from California. So we were right there in the middle of it, and we landed in Australia just as things started to get pretty serious.
“The intention from our perspective was to let the landscapes do the talking mores than us. I think it’s like our 34th music video or something, and we get to the point with music videos where we don’t always want to be the main focus.
“Sometimes we just prefer to let other parts do the talking. We also really just liked the idea of a nostalgic, kind of dreamy visual to go with it.”
With the new song out, and a new record on the way at some point this year, the current climate has undoubtedly made the idea of touring a little bit difficult for Something For Kate. Despite this, Ashworth notes that now they’ve released the first single, they’ll look toward new ways to interact with their fans.
“We obviously had plans to tour now and the record coming out, but I think we’re just like everyone else in terms of seeing how everything else is going to unfold,” she explains. “We’ll probably adapt to the situation like a lot of other bands, I suppose, and do some recordings, some performances from home.
“We’ve been asked to be involved with a lot of the live stuff going on, but we kind of wanted to let the song come out first and let people hear how it’s intended to be heard before we go around playing acoustic versions of it.
“It always changes how you perceive it if you hear it acoustic a few times before, so we just thought we’d let it have it’s moment and then we would see about doing some digital stuff. I guess we’ll see how it unfolds, and I think there’ll be another single coming out before the record as well.”