Chan Marshall (Atlanta, 1972), better known as Cat Power, has spent more than half her life fighting against herself, but now feels that the war is over. "At this current point, I can affirm that my life has taken a new course. It has been full of changes, "he tells by phone from a hotel in San Francisco (United States). Of all those changes, the most important one carries his last name: he is his three-year-old son. The singer, now a single mother, became pregnant in 2014 and decided to change her life drastically. "I do not know if we have enough time in this interview to get me to talk about all the changes that I feel has been on this trip that is my life," he warns. "I can not summarize it in two sentences. I'm sorry, "he adds.
It is convenient to try it, more when this new album is published this Friday Wanderer, the return of the year in the competitive world of indie-rock Anglo-Saxon after his six years of recording silence. To tell the truth, you do not have to throw a lot of your tongue either. "My son is my new motivation. It makes me stronger, but it also makes me happier, "he confesses. It's the blond boy who, beyond being inspiration in songs like In Your Face, can be seen on the album cover, protected by his mother's arm and a guitar. About his existence he has built, he says, a whole new kingdom, which he has built after a long journey through the desert. Wanderer it can be translated as "vagabond" or "nomadic". "The concept of the album is the human experience. It is an inner journey in each one of us. It's harder than it looks. It is related to contemplation, personal development, the process to find something that a person wonders, "he explains.
Marshall is cordial, even tender in her way of talking about herself. He expresses himself with effusiveness and eloquence for moments, in others he makes long silences as if to reach words that float on his head. It can happen in a matter of seconds of a "cool" enthusiast to evaluate something that is commented on a crushing yawn. And, in between, a crutch: "I'm sorry." As if their thoughts crossed each other, blocking their path. But, even in his altered speech, he always transmits that odd fragility of his songs. "With the previous album I collapsed. To prepare this I was pregnant and needed to be healthy, "he says.
Their excesses have been constant, always associated with problems with alcohol and, especially, their strong depressions. Cat Power, in fact, is known for several image changes, as if this heart-rending singer was trying to find her place in the world. A world presided over by songs since it debuted in 1995, sponsored by members of Sonic Youth and Two Dollar Guitar. As if it were a new PJ Harvey, they were captivated by their gloomy universe, which displayed its most fascinating kaleidoscope of emotional constellations in The Greatest, under the protection of the independent seal Matador. Now, another of the changes in his life has been breaking with the label that catapulted her. He comments several times during the conversation. When he delivered the songs of Wanderer, Matador asked for another different album. There were "successes" missing. She refused and went to Domino. "I had it clear. I am proud of who I am and what I have achieved in my own way. Now I am excited and excited with my new label, "he explains.
Marshall has given his old label where it hurts the most: the first single from Wanderer It was Woman, a song that has been a success and had the collaboration of Lady Gaga. She, however, prefers to focus on the spirit of an intimate album, which appeases tempests in her folk mix and soul white under the garment indie and where he gets to sing in Spanish in I'm going. "The songs are a powerful exercise to know other directions. They can transform your grief. The best songs are always full of incredible humanity, "he says. "Thanks to music, I know I'm not alone. But, above all, it allows me to know myself. Know what universe is inside me. He has given me many gifts. Without music, I think I would not have had the same ability to dream, "he continues.
It seems that Cat Power, who came to claim that she is alive "because of the songs", is at peace with the world and with herself. Before leaving, with an unbeatable giggle, he remembers something that Patti Smith, one of his muses, told him: "He explained to me the responsibility that an artist has with his creation". He makes a long silence and, with a solemn tone, adds: "And he advised me to drink water."