Robyn Cage will celebrate CD release at Downstairs
Theatrical pianist's album is 'Tales of a Thief'
Scott Iwasaki, The Park Record
Robyn Cage will perform a CD-release concert at Downstairs in honor of her new extended play, "Tales of a Thief," a collection of six songs that were written in the past five years. (Courtesy of Robyn Cage)
Robyn Cage, known to some nightlife-loving Parkites as singer and songwriter Robyn Kemp, will celebrate her three years of performing in town with a CD release party at Downstairs on Sept. 25.
The album is called "Tales of a Thief," Cage said during an interview with The Park Record.
"The title comes from a song, 'The Arsonist and the Thief,' that is on the album," Cage explained. "That's my favorite of the songs, and the thief in the song refers to me."
Another aspect of the title is based on the fact that Cage likes songs that tell stories.
"Not all of my songs do that, but I really enjoy writing songs that are tales," she said. "So that's where the title came from."
All the tracks on the record were written during the past five years of Cage's life.
"The overall theme is about growing from a younger, angsty self into a more mature and comfortable self," she said. "I think you can hear that in the songs in the album."
"Tales of a Thief" is a six-song collection and Darryl Neudorf, who has worked with Neko Case and Sarah McLachlan, produced the first single, "Burning Now."
The song has been nominated for a Utah Music Award in three categories -- alternative, pop and electonica.
"Darryl liked the song and we went into an electronic style for that, because that's what I thought I wanted to do," Cage said.
Dan Burns, whose credits include Lenka, Michelle Branch and Carina Round, produced the other five tracks.
"I actually met Dan through Carina and went out to L.A. and recorded with three session guys," Cage said. "It was an awesome experience."
One reason was because Cage was totally immersed in the recording process.
"It was different than what I expected," she said. "I gave the songs to Dan and he sent them to the musicians.
"When I arrived, I had heard of stories where producers try to change the songs, and I was ready to fight for what I wanted them to sound like, but I didn't have to," Cage said. "I went in and played the songs on the piano and the musicians charted it out. I played it once more and they asked some questions and then we started recording."
Cage said she felt as if the musicians knew the songs better than she did.
"I just sat back and watched them do their thing," she said. "The songs shaped up better than I thought they would ever be."
Cage has been a staple of the Park City music scene for the past three years, under the name of Robyn Kemp.
She grew up in Salt Lake, graduated college from the Boston Conservatory and worked in New York City doing musical theater, before returning to the Beehive State.
"After spending a lot of time in theater, I got a bit disillusioned with the scene," Cage said. "At that time, there didn't feel like there was anything original happening. It was all just movie adaptations and relaunches of old musicals.
"I felt like I wasn't doing what I wanted to do, which was write my own songs, but that was also something that I avoided, because I was scared to death about doing that," she said, laughing. "On a whim, I submitted some music to a producer and I ended up signing with him. I felt that this was what I should have been doing all along."
Cage released her first, three-song extended play album, "Raining Sideways," in 2010 under her real name, Robyn Kemp.
The EP is available on iTunes for $2.97.
"It was my first attempt of songwriting and felt it was pretty decent, even though I didn't feel like I knew what direction I wanted to go musically," she said. "So I spent the past few years narrowing down to what I want my sound to be and what I want to say as an artist."
With "Tales of a Thief," Cage feels she has found her voice.
"Vocally, I'm used to playing characters because of theater, and have been trained in different styles, but really didn't know who Robyn was," she explained. "So, I'm starting to like how I'm sounding and that has helped me sing in a more truthful way."
Robyn Cage will perform a CD release party for her new record "Tales of a Thief" at Downstairs, 625 Main St., on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m.