Free Cake for Every Creature released its latest album, The Bluest Star, through Brooklyn-based record label Double Double Whammy on Aug. 3. Katie Bennett, the musician behind the project, started making music for the project privately in 2012. Dominic Anthony, Indie Overnite Music Director, interviewed Bennett earlier this month.
Double Double Whammy works with a number of projects that share Free Cake for Every Creature’s DIY ethic and bedroom studio sound. Texas natives Hovvdy and Lomelda both released new albums through the label over the past year.
“There was no intent to be a DIY band, it was just I want to do this, so I’m going to do it, and I don’t have any money, so I’m going to have to do it,” Bennett said in the interview with Dominic. Bennett said that she likes to have control over her project and that she enjoys designing merchandise as well as recording.
Talking Quietly of Anything With You, the record Free Cake for Every Creature released in 2016, was recorded by Chris Daly at Salvation. Bennett said, at the time, she hadn’t yet worked with another person while recording, so she wanted to try it out.
“I kind of mapped out all of the songs before I knew what songs were going to go on what side. I was very hands on with that recording process even though somebody else was actually recording it,” Bennett said. “We recorded it in four to five days. It was difficult honestly.”
Bennett struggled with the lack of privacy during recording, as well as the discomfort of not being home. Bennett said she actually ended up recording her vocals at home and sending them to be added to the songs later on. “I’m really happy with how it turned out, but the process wasn’t as fun as it could’ve been if I was just by myself. Honestly, in my underwear just doing my thing. I just like to be ultra comfy.”
For The Bluest Star, Bennett returned to comfort, recording all fourteen songs at her home in West Philadelphia. Bennett spent most of the time recording and re-recording the songs with her partner Francis Lyons.
The intro, “riding into the sunset in a busted car,” sets the tone for the album. The two following songs, as well as a couple others throughout the tracklist, have full-band instrumentation and a guitar-centric sound.
By the fourth song, “shake it out,” Bennett’s tracklist becomes more synth- and keyboard-based. The tracks incorporate a drum machine and loops, all of which provide an airier sound. “Shake it out” holds personal significance for Bennett. The track is about her mother.
“I’m just talking about how sometimes, characteristics, for better or worse, can get passed down, and we can be accepting and loving of ourselves and what we’ve inherited,” Bennett said. She explained that themes on previous Free Cake records have been themes of love or anxiety, both she finds not as personal as her immediate family.
The drumbeat and key come from an old “crappy organ” her partner, Francis, had in his childhood bedroom. “I was like, we have to bring this to our apartment.” Bennett explained that four people had to help load it into their station wagon. When they got to their apartment, a stranger helped them load it into their third-floor apartment.
Though Free Cake for Every Creature has multiple upcoming shows in the northeast, Bennett said as she gets older, she’s more inclined to want to stay home and be comfortable, something playing live shows doesn’t allow easily. “I’ll definitely continue making music. I’ll definitely continue playing shows,” Bennett said. “I’m not sure what lies in the future, but definitely more music.”
KRTU will rebroadcast the interview with Free Cake For Every Creature on Oct. 10 during The Hippie Coffee Hours, hosted by Dominic Anthony.