Review & Press Interview: “whole heart black” by Kate Peytavin

Kate Peytavin writes and sings about love and heartbreaks. Not through rosy filters or starry eyes, but blood and tears. Wearing heart on her sound, emotions beam through every breathy falsettos and lyrics. “whole heart black” is about getting over someone who feels like an addiction, who turns your “whole heart black” and leaves you aching yet still wanting them back. All consuming, angsty, and haunting, “whole heart black” is a song that rips your heart wide open with dark temptations, knowing it’s bad but still wanting to feel good again.

The 17-year-old Louisiana native has a special kind of vintage angst that pulsates new blood but at the same time, recalls haunting nostalgia. A mixture of mesmerizing, refreshing guitar grooves weave into her bitingly authentic lyricism, Kate Peytavin charms you into an illusively intimate world of sounds.

“Whole heart black” sees her in new exhilarating new indie rocker outfit, while “killing time” is dipped in airy melancholia, “ever fallen?” dazzles in a Lana Del Ray’s vintage daze, “bit white light” is slow dancing in tiptoe. With only a handful of singles released, Kate Peytavin is able to sire millions of fans across platforms. She’s easy to fall for and hard to forget, an artist you just can’t get over with, can’t break up with.

When it comes to writing songs, Peytavin is free-spirited and daring. She isn’t afraid to dive into dark and forbidden places, bringing odes that grasp your heart and breath. As an artist, she feels like your best friend, who gets you on a deep, personal level and is willing to hear all your secrets, making you know it’s a safe place. All her songs were written from that interpersonal space, something for the fans and herself to ponder upon and sink in.

Written by Katrina Yang

Press Q&A with Kate Peytavin

Q: Where did the incorporation of a vintage vibe in your songs come from? 

Peytavin: I’ve always been a lover of vintage things and gravitated toward artists who do the same, like Lana Del Rey. Between my Pinterest board and journals, I just have a vision and will do anything to make those come to life. I was writing for about a year before I released my song “ever fallen”, and it just felt right to have such a vibey, vintage feel. It honestly makes me so happy to have my music kind of match my influences like Lana and Suki Waterhouse (who I dream of touring with one day).

Q: What was your favorite moment making this song?

Peytavin: I think when I made this mistake, I switched these two lyrics around and I realized I like it so much better that way. Normally I’m hard on myself for the mistakes I make but I think this mistake was beautiful and I’m glad that it happened.

Q: Being only 18, what obstacles did you have to overcome when entering the music industry? 

Peytavin: Something really hard at first for me was starting out without any songs or experience. It was kind of like, why would you want to work with someone who doesn’t have anything yet? Since I’m from New Orleans, it was hard to come out to L.A. where so many people would cancel on me because of my lack of musical expertise, and since I’m only here for such a short period of time, it would suck that I wasn’t getting as much done as I’d hoped to. I feel like that’s what my song “killing time” is about, because people didn’t take me seriously and just underestimated me. I was always put in a room with people who were way more experienced and older than me, which was NERVE WRACKING. But with more experience, working in L.A. is getting much better now. 

Q: How did you evolve from the start of your career to now releasing this track?

Peytavin: In the studio I feel like it is much easier to open up and let it go. I also dare to experiment more. I had this down tempo and knew how to do it well but I used to feel too comfortable and needed to try something different. Now that I am experimenting I realize it is much more beneficial to me.

Q: What role does “whole heart black” play in your overall discography? What do you want listeners to take away from it?

Peytavin: It’s just a piece in the big puzzle. It’s about wanting something you shouldn’t have but you do it anyway because it feels good at the moment. I think there’s a lot of learning to be done but it is a very valid emotion and feeling that a lot of people get suppressed for having. I want my listeners to listen and know that it’s okay.

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

Peytavin: If I could go back in time I’d tell myself to not care so much about what other people think. I was scared to open up to other people at first and scared to tell my stories, but that’s how you make the good songs. I wish I did that more in the beginning because once the walls come down it’s so much easier.





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