With her brand new EP, People & Places (Vol. 1), Nashville singer-songwriter Kathleen Regan delivers a brilliant collection of honest and intimate songs. Each song displays her unique ability to transform significant – and sometimes heartbreaking – experiences, into inspiring messages of hope and redemption. People & Places (Vol. 1) demonstrates how Kathleen Regan will persevere to overcome any barrier placed in her path – whether in love, career, betrayal, or forgiveness.
The strength of Kathleen Regan’s exquisite voice is only eclipsed by the power of her masterfully composed lyrics. Her music is personal, poignant, and draws the listener into an intimate embrace with messages that heal and inspire. She’s a naturally gifted artist undeniably bound for greatness.
With this being Volume 1 of People & Places, I was eager to talk with Kathleen Regan to learn more about the EP, the story-behind the profound lead-off song “Mercy“, when we might be able to expect Volume 2, and much more!
One of my favorite songs on the EP is “Mercy”. Can you tell us a bit about the circumstances that inspired such a powerful song?
Absolutely, and thank you so much. Mercy was inspired by a situation I found myself in a few years ago… I was approached by a man in the music industry after opening for his artist at a show in Boston. When we got back to Nashville, it became apparent he was wanting to help me and my career. The relationship was totally normal at first, coffee meetings, vision boards, conversations of my goals and dreams as a young new artist, my dream co writers, etc ; but a few months went by and something shifted. He became overly communicative, overstepping many boundaries (giving me gifts for Valentine’s Day when he was married with children, for example), and wouldn’t stop when my parents & I asked him to. It all came so fast and was impossible to see coming. He made me feel uneasy and unable to protect myself, scared to go to any live event in case he was there.
It’s terrifying to share your soul and your dreams with someone who ends up making you feel so small. I spent the better half of 2018 canceling sessions, ignoring meetings, neglecting to follow up with anyone who seemed interested in my career at the time (which I don’t recommend) lol. My trust was stripped and it’s been hard to find my balance in that again. I felt like I hiked halfway up a mountain, trusted someone to walk with me the rest of the way, and instead they pushed me off.
Diving a bit deeper into “Mercy”, you do a masterful job of conveying the internal battle of choosing between bitterness and forgiveness after moving on from a toxic relationship. What would be some advice that you would like to pass on to other people going through the same struggle?
That’s a super good question and to be honest, I’m still battling that balance myself. My advice would be to remember life before that person and what they did. For me, I fell in love with music long before he made me fall out of it. So I refused to let him take anything away from me, because at the end of the day, that was a stepping stone in my past. Is it one I wish I didn’t have to cross? Of course. But, as a Christian, I do believe that God makes no mistakes, something you hear me touch on in ‘Mercy’; “Father forgive me, for what I can’t forgive.” That’s still hard today but I do try and remember the starting point, the reason I do this, and that’s to tell the truth. So, I move forward finding that maybe it’s in fact my truth to talk about mental health in the music industry, so here we are.
People & Places (Vol. 1) is an incredible EP filled with deeply personal lyrics that evoke weighty emotions. How would you describe the overall theme of this EP and what do you hope the listener takes away from these songs?
Well first off, thank you so much. I love me some weighty emotions.
I would describe the overall theme as the process of forgiveness… yeah, I just hope anyone listening to this EP can hear that internal conversation I’ve been having and that I will continue to have with myself. “I hear that you can’t trade those demons in your past” from ‘Better Than That’, or “Well the earth will spin, and grass will grow, so say all the things you usually don’t from ‘You Never Know’ ; it’s the realization that the past is done and all you can do now is learn to forgive, learn to get better, and allow yourself that space to move on.
This year has been tough on so many people, including independent musicians like yourself. How have these songs and the power of music helped you throughout these unprecedented times?
Oh man, music has been everything this year. I think even a person that would admit they aren’t the biggest music lover, could attest to that. Music brings us a hopefulness of someone actually understanding our minds and our hearts… I think I’ve felt the most alone and the most isolated that I ever have in 2020. But, you put on some Foy Vance or some Beatles and you’re like “shit, life can have these periods of time and we’re all just here on this spinning globe living out our best”.
Also, fans. I’ve been able to spend time talking back and forth with people who have seen me play live, saw one of my videos online, saw me on the news in Maine, whatever it may be, it’s been an incredible pause to hear them and speak to them and have all the time in the world to do that. That’s where social media is such an awesome thing.
It’s been hard, and it’s certainly been terrible for the music industry, but I pray for the people it’s been hardest on… because, I know that’s not me. I hope they find the encouragement they need.
I’m excited to see that this is only Volume 1 of hopefully much more music to come from you in the near future. Can you give us any hints as to when we might expect more new tunes from you?
Yes! Volume 1 definitely means a Volume 2 is around the corner! Right now, I’m writing heavily by myself and with other incredible co writers and I’m hopeful we will create some good stuff in the remainder of this year and into the new one. I’m a little scared to put January 2021 in writing, but eff it, lets just say January 2021 for new music 😉