“No Better Time” is out Nov. 20, 2020 via Night Bloom Records and showcases Kacey Johansing’s powerful vocals and emotional depth.
Throughout the album, Johansing explores the nuances of finding love after a history of enduring trauma. Though her music may remind the listener of acts like Weyes Blood and Angel Olsen, Johansing has a distinct sound that is uniquely her own. COLLiDE caught up with Johansing ahead of No Better Time‘s release to get her thoughts on the new album.
Who did you pull inspiration from while working on No Better Time?
Musically we drew from many artists especially when it came to the arrangements. In particular, The Beach Boys, Alice Coltrane, Serge Gainsbourg, Bill Withers, The Wrecking Crew, Jon Brion.
Which tracks stand out the most to you and why?
My favorite tracks are probably, “Even A Lot Feels Like Nothing,” “Puzzle” and “Time Lapse Flower.” All for different reasons but I feel particularly fond of these songs and the arrangements. They’ve been more significant songs for me emotionally.
Did quarantine affect the production of No Better Time? It looked like you were pretty busy with playing in the band Hand Habits and running a label on top of working on your own music.
I actually finished this album long before the Pandemic. I was getting ready to release it when everything began to shut down. Having the release to focus on has kept me connected to my musical path and my community during these disconnected times.
Instead of touring and playing lots of shows I’ve decided to put a lot of energy towards making music videos and live videos. We all have to adapt and continue to find ways to share our music during these challenging times. I know Meg has been super busy working on new music but as I mostly play in their live band I haven’t seen them much.
The label has been thriving as I think releasing new music has really meant so much to people and has kept the community connected. I feel so grateful to have that outlet in addition to releasing my own music.
What do you hope listeners walk away feeling after listening to No Better Time? While I was listening to the album’s title track, I felt a resounding amount of hope, like that everything will work out in its own time. Did you feel anything like that while writing and recording?
Aw that means so much to hear. I’m really moved knowing that it gave you a feeling of hope.
I’d love it if everyone connected to that feeling of hope while listening to the album. I do feel that the creation of the album, from writing the songs to recording them has been a lifeline for me. Part of the reason why I ended up calling the album No Better Time is because it truly does feel that way these days.
We live in such tumultuous times and it can feel really intimidating trying to figure out how to put one’s creative self out there. However, I think the world needs music now more than ever and despite all of the chaos it really can hold space for healing even if it’s just distracting us for a few moments.
What piece of advice can you give to those who may be going through a tough or painful time?
I think first of all one needs to acknowledge their pain and just give themselves some love. Just being alive right now is a really traumatic experience on top of all of the other stuff we have to deal with. Really practicing self love and self acceptance is so important.
Let yourself feel it all, grieve, cry, release anger in a healthy way. From there, knowing that community is so important so find time to spend with friends/family/neighbors. It’s hard right now in the winter months but even a phone call with a good friend or family member can be comforting.
Be extra gentle with yourself. Try to trust that the pain will pass. Allow yourself the space and time to heal…and know it may be ongoing and that’s ok. Find joy in simple pleasures. Spend time in nature if you can.
Listen to No Better Time now:
Photos courtesy of Kacey Johansing.