In the Summer of 2021, BIMM Berlin welcomed a selection of its students to the House of Music to record the ‘BIMM Berlin Album 20/21’. Eight projects, hand-picked by industry panels to showcase the best music emerging from the college, each recorded one song over the course of two weeks.
With the legendary Pete Smith (Stevie Wonder, Sting, Sheryl Crowe) on board as producer and giving extensive feedback and input, the students enjoyed access to a wealth of industry experience. With genres ranging from ‘jazz metal’ to electro-pop, the songs make an eclectic and awe-inspiring body of work.
We caught up with each of the eight acts featured on the record to find out more about the meaning behind their track. Here Kathlen Morrison tells us about ‘Sugar (High)’
How would you describe your music?
Our music is blatantly honest in unexpected ways, lyrically answering questions one would normally not ask with complimentary harmonies that will haunt your head for days.
How did you start the duo and how did you meet?
We met in 2017 during a seminar on vocal performance. It was during an exercise in vocal projection where we connected over our, at the time, matching blue hair. We continued to study popular music together in the Netherlands but we didn’t become close until February of 2020. It was actually our songwriting instructor that reintroduced us to one another, and so happened to start us on our Kathlen Morrison journey.
Who or what inspires you as a duo?
A big inspiration to both of us is our late grandmothers. They were supportive of us in our pursuit of music, and we have them to thank for our powerful drive. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are today and we are immensely grateful to them.
What’s the meaning behind the song you recorded for the BIMM Berlin Album?
‘Sugar (High)’ is about disassociating and losing track of reality, while trying to compensate for this lack of feeling with rushes from energy drinks. We were isolated at home during a very stressful period and, as fate would have it, our student housing happened to get a sponsorship from an energy drink company, meaning we had an almost endless supply. During one of these rushes, we wrote ‘Sugar (High)’.
How did the song come about and how did you write/produce the song?
During the time we wrote the song we were drained, both emotionally and physically. Our days seemed dull and repetitive, but since we love baking, we thought we would switch out our routine walks with a baking session. We spent the evening blasting old pop-punk songs desperately trying to recreate the feelings we had as teenagers, screaming our lungs out at concerts, moshing in a sea of strangers and, all in all, having a good time. Seeing as we were sick of routine, we went off book for the recipe resulting in some delicious, yet disastrous, cookies. And that’s where our song idea started.
Can you describe your songwriting process?
We usually start with a concept, with one of us on an instrument and the other with a notebook and pen in hand. From here we create a story while incorporating real-life events, such as while we were baking, we realized we were out of sugar, so we ended up supplementing that with five packets of vanilla sugar. Harmonically and melodically we follow our instincts and complement one another’s ideas to create a sound together.
What projects are you currently working on?
Presently, we have an EP in the works and will be releasing singles soon.
What are your future plans as a duo?
So, we are working on an EP, but once things fully open up, we want to tour with said EP throughout Europe and the UK.
Kathlen Morrison’s track ‘Sugar (High)’ is featured on the BIMM Album from Berlin. You can read more about the album and the other artists + tracks featured here.