Kathy Muir – The Other Side single release
Gun Violence in the US from a Scottish Singer-Songwriter's Perspective
By: Kathy Muir
August 26th, 2016 marks the release of the single "The Other Side" by Muir. Although her third album Second Life drops at the end of September, she is releasing "The Other Side," a song that is not even on the new album, first.
"The song was written after we completed the Second Life album," says Muir, "and while I should be promoting awareness of the album's forthcoming launch, I felt strongly that 'The Other Side' needed to be heard now, to reflect this particular moment in time. The world seems so crazy right now and I had something to say about it."
What Muir is referring to are the acts of mass violence that seem to be the prevalent lead stories on the nightly news. In particular, the Orlando shooting served as a catalyst for "The Other Side."
The song itself is about intolerance, whether it be based on skin color, sexual orientation, or any other bias that is used "as an excuse to treat anyone unfairly, to take away their rights or to take away their lives," says Muir.
She adds, "It's also about love and being a part of a community of minds, hearts and hands. I'm an optimist at heart, which is very much woven into the song. I needed to write it because I was angry at the incredible amount of prejudice and mass violence people experience. So often we feel anger and despair that we can forget that hope can create change and good can win over evil. It sounds clichéd but it can."
Muir is quick to point out that neither the song nor her views are directed at the gun culture in the US, but she admits that having grown up in a nation where there are more restrictions on firearm ownership, it has been an eye-opening experience living in the States. "We just don't experience the mass shootings that are tragically becoming an all-too frequent occurrence here."
Her native Scotland is well known for its traditions, history, art and music, but American pop culture has also been a large part of every Scots' upbringing since World War I. For Muir, that meant growing up listening to her mother's '60s soul albums, her older brother's '70s classic rock albums, along with the American jazz, blues and folk music that the Brits embraced.
Says Muir, "That's what excited me most about being able to live here, the connection with American music to my own personal history, and to be able to make music here is just amazing. Of course, a lot of music comes from times of civil unrest and reflects what's going on in society, so 'The Other Side' naturally came from what is perhaps my naïve perspective of the recent mass shootings that were caused by bigotry."
Muir started working on the song in June after the Orlando shooting, but it took until mid-July before she was happy with the lyrics. She says, "This song had to be just right. I experienced quite a different creative process, one that first required releasing a 'creative pressure valve'. I wrote screeds of pages for weeks on end, scribbling phrases, finding another way to say something only to realize it wasn't right, thus starting again. I had so many thoughts that I ended up sketching symbols and shapes to help clear my mind. Finally, every word and note found their rightful place in the song."
Since the Orlando Pulse shooting in June, yet more mass shootings have taken place, including the Dallas one in July, which targeted law enforcement officers at a Black Lives Matter march.
"The Other Side" will be available on August 26th on iTunes, Amazon and other major digital music outlets.
About the Artist: Kathy Muir's vocal and lyrical style is singular and instantly identifiable with an expressive range that is soft and intimate, yet sassy and upbeat with a natural, unforced delivery that captures the imagination.
Page Updated Last on: Aug 16, 2016