Kay Clarity’s new single “Love Songs” is a commentary on our culture’s “shallow relationship to love.” Photo courtesy Kay Clarity

A musical Valentine for pandemic-weary

By 
  • February 23, 2022

Saskatoon-born singer-songwriter Kay Clarity hadn’t expected to launch her new pop music project Pax Paloma in mid-February, but witnessing the isolation and loneliness from the pandemic brought about a change of heart for the Catholic artist.

Clarity decided an early release of her new single “Love Songs” on Spotify for Valentine’s Day would help “meet the needs of many lonely in this time.”

“We were going to wait, but the day is just too perfect, so here we are,” said the singer, who started her academic career at Redeemer Pacific College in Langley, B.C., and later returned to perform in the Lower Mainland. She continued her graduate studies in Austria in theology before returning to her native Saskatchewan and eventually moving to Los Angeles.

With its refrain “I won’t write love songs before it’s time,” “Love Songs” is “a perfect, if contrarian, single for Valentine’s Day — to loosely and playfully echo the Song of Songs verse ‘do not stir up love before its time,’ ” said Clarity.

She hopes the release of the single and its official YouTube video will be “a playful commentary on the sentimentality of our current culture and its shallow relationship to love.” The pandemic, she said, “has made the isolation of many people even more extreme and offering something joyful feels like giving a little gift.”

The single is the first release as part of an upcoming pop project enigmatically titled Pax Paloma (Paloma is Spanish for dove).

The project is a departure from her usual poetic acoustic work, which she has performed with Catholic musician Joe Zambon and with Kathleen and Jesse Leblanc, the Catholic duo formerly Girl and a Guy. She performed in the Lower Mainland during and after studying at Redeemer Pacific. While living in Europe, she connected with a record label whose CEO had managed Natalie Imbruglia, the late ‘90s international pop sensation.

Those ties eventually brought her to Los Angeles, where she has been collaborating on Pax Paloma with Fabio Angelini, a producer she knew from her time with the UK label. They have had a song placed in a film and have more singles ready for release.

With Pax Paloma, Clarity embarks toward a new frontier from the gentle poetic folk that has characterized her work but brings to the project the academic Catholic roots that have been formative to her development as an individual and artist.

Clarity said Pax Paloma’s tag line “Pretentious academia meets beats” describes its attempt to provide intelligent, light-hearted pop music that flirts with a more intricate lyrical palette and is still rooted in a quality Catholic sensibility. Other songs will delve even more deeply into the academic faith niche.

The musically diverse Clarity also founded in 2020 Cassia & Myrhh, a catalogue of original, gentle, no expense, ad-free Gregorian chant and hymn essentials. The aim of the Catholic project, she said, is make the music available to as broad an audience as possible “to reach souls through beauty with Christ and His Church.” An album of contemplative original songs will be added to the collection later this year.

From her original Kay Clarity profile, to her Cassia & Myrrh chant collection, and now Pax Paloma, which she describes as “word geek pop by a pop culture exile,” an obvious question is, why so many different brands and irons in the fire?

In short, she said, “the world needs the Catholic voice — even within the normally abandoned pop culture sphere.”

Clarity hopes the more pop-oriented Pax Paloma will not only “fill a gap” when it comes to “the lack of wholesome but quality pop culture items,” but also resonate with many who feel invisible in a world that is “strangely sentimental but shallow in how it views love.”

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