Vox Rea, Kate and Lauren Kurdyak, along with their “honorary siblings,” Kaitlyn Hansen-Boucher and Mitchell Schaumberg, come together to make up the newly renamed ‘VoxRea’. Formerly ‘The Katherines’, the band has felt for the past five years that the name was not representative of who they were as a group.
Vox, the Latin term for voice and Rea, for flowing, ‘VoxRea’ draws influence from everything from the Arcade Fire’s music to Friedrich Nietzche’s philosophies. The band’s music has been featured on Orphan Black, Reboot and The Order and they are looking forward to an exciting summer with the First Up with RBCxMusic program as well as an album release show and a couple of festival slots.
Check out our interview with them below:
You describe yourselves as a "soundtrack to the confusion and euphoria of coming of age in a postmodern world." Can you share more about this? Do you think that with how things are constantly evolving, we are ALL experiencing a coming of age?
We both studied philosophy in our undergrad and spent a lot of time exploring existentialism. That became a major source of inspiration for our self-titled album and the Vox Rea project in general. In the last few years we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we can redefine our identities and culture towards a sustainable future for our home and our humanity. Art has been such an important means for us to challenge our sense of self and the stories we’ve been handed down about what it means to be a human being.
It's amazing that you have all grown up together singing in choir. Did you always envision yourselves having a unified project in the long run?
100%. There is a beautiful feeling that happens when you make music with a group of people where you lose your sense of self and become part of a greater whole. That feeling is something we’ve actively tried to recreate in Vox Rea.
Why did you evolve from The Katherines into Vox Rea? What did this shift represent?
The music we were making and the band itself was shifting and we wanted a name that was lacking in preconceptions. Vox Rea has an ambiguity and androgyny to it that allows us to have an identity beyond always being labelled as a 'girl band' like we were as The Katherines. The exact meaning of Vox Rea is open interpretation. To us, Vox Rea is a question rather than an answer, and that represents the ethos of this project.
How long did it take you to write your self titled album?
We took quite a bit of time between the release of our debut album as The Katherines and this latest one. All in all I think we were working on it for about 4 years.
You wrote your album in Berlin, Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, and Montreal. Would you say that any of these places inspired the sound of this record and if so, how?
It wasn’t so much one particular place that inspired the sound as it was the fact that the music was created in so many different spaces. The feeling of wanderlust and the feeling of homesickness became this undercurrent that ran through the whole record. Those contradictory feelings were tied to our external world but also to our internal ones. It is very much a record about being everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
How did you get involved with First Up with RBCxMusic and what are some experiences that have come with this? What advice can you give artists to find promotional opportunities like this?
We found out about the program online and applied last fall. First Up with RBCxMusic has been incredibly supportive in helping us get the tools we need to keep going. There are so many amazing programs in Canada for up and coming artists. I’d recommend reaching out to your local music associations for advice on programs and grants you can apply for. MusicBC has been an incredible resource for us.
What is your favourite social media platform to share about your music and why?
Our favourite is probably YouTube because it gives us a space to share longer form visuals for the music. We love putting together videos and short films that provide another medium to express the themes and symbols in the music.
What's next for Vox Rea?
We have some new music coming out very soon that we’re incredibly stoked about. We’re also planning another US tour in the spring and playing a lot of local shows this fall.
What should we watch on Netflix right now?
If you haven’t seen The Midnight Gospel yet, do it. It’s a trip.
Shout out a local artist/band we should be listening to!
There are so many amazing artists in Toronto right now. We saw Haviah Mighty at a festival we played at this summer and she blew our minds. We also dig GRAE.