Katie Doherty formed the Navigators to explore the depth and strength that three players could bring to her award winning songs. What was unexpected in this combination was the power and dynamic which is often described as much bigger than its component parts. Katie’s songs are visceral in their story-telling and the music is brimming with textures, many reminiscent of her home on a hill farm in the North Pennines.
Like its players, these songs exude heart, warmth and melody which leave you feeling up-lifted and welcomed. Their new album FLOW has been produced by Mattie Foulds (Karine Polwart, Rachel Newton) and is due for release 29 July 2022, Katie describes it as, “their boldest story telling yet.”
Their 2019 album And Then received high critical acclaim which led to live sessions on BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe Show and BBC Radio 3 In-Tune. They toured nationally and graced the stages of Sage Gateshead, Cambridge Folk Festival, Manchester Folk Festival and Cheltenham Festival to name a few.
The songs on FLOW feel like they hang on the precipice of the current state of the world. There is enormous heart filled hope but there is much riding on where we go from here. The songs paint sweeping pictures and intricate portraits of NHS Workers, Musicians, Teachers, Artists, Protesters and Parents. They are rooted in a craggy North East landscape looking outwards across the sea, with a telescopic lens pointing firmly up, out and forward to the best future possible. Listen for echoes of Regina Spektor, Nancy Kerr, Guy Garvey and Anais Mitchell all of whose influence can be found within the sound of FLOW.
During the making of FLOW, Katie explored the concept of creative flow and the ways in which we inspire artistic responses in one another through a community response project in her local communities. Working with four community groups from across the North East of England and award winning playwright Laura Lindow, the band played early versions of the songs and encouraged artistic responses from the groups which have gone on to inform the final recordings and performance. Responses ranged from a fully choreographed dance piece from inclusive dance company Tin Arts in County Durham – which will be celebrated in the video to their first single Hurricane to photography, poetry, painting and musical compositions. This type of work is a natural progression for Katie who has worked with theatre companies such as the RSC, Northern Stage, November Club and Open Clasp for many years.
Katie says – “Community outreach, participation and education has always been a big part of my other work – away from performing. I have felt the need for it more than ever in the last few years – partly as so much of it has been lost/made substantially more difficult during the pandemic, but also because I see the value of the Arts for hearts and minds in all settings. My work feels much more purposeful if I can reach further. It’s nothing without connection.”
Artist’s website: https://www.katiedoherty.co.uk/