Katie Costello sings and plays the piano and guitar like your average singer-songwriter, but her talent is anything but average. The youthful Los Angeles native has only been making music for a few years and has already cultivated a unique take on an oft-stilted genre. Having recently made the move to the Big Apple, Costello will release her sophomore record, Lamplight, on Tiny Tiny Records next week.
Growing up in a less-than-musically-inclined family, it was some time before Costello found her way to music. But when she finally did, it became an obsession. “I spent all my spare time playing piano, writing songs and never conciously thinking they would be heard by anyone or would become anything later,” Costello says. “Funny how all these people came together and basically pushed me into music.”
By chance she was introduced to publicist at a dinner party who would introduce her to the man who would help her produce her debut, Kaleidoscope Machine. While recording the album, a process that took over two years because she was in school full-time, Costello figured out her future. “It was so fun, and at that time I realized it was what she wanted to do, full-time, all the time, forever,” she remembers.
Since recording Kaleidoscope Machine, Costello made her move across the country. “I wrote all of Lamplight when I first moved to New York City and was living alone, finishing high school online,” she says. “These songs are the most reflective of being alone, losing touch with yourself and trying to find yourself.”
Although her new surroundings influenced the album, Costello says that watching movies and reading books are her true muse. “It is the greatest inspiration because you’re diving into someone else’s perspective to expound upon,” she says. ”[It’s] harder to delve into [your] own emotions unless [you’re] really angry or sad. You know when you feel a certain way so much that you have to do something or you’ll explode? That’s when a song will just pour out of me. But a lot of times I write songs by living vicariously through someone else.”