photos/ Alexa Nikol Curran
story / Ariana Tibi
Titled ‘Vitamin T,’ KERA’s classic, uplifting new track honors the connections that have faded out of their life while showing gratitude for the ones that have entered. Produced by longtime collaborator Jon Joseph and featuring Eric C. Johnson (piano) and Matt La Roca (lead guitar), this composition blends modern elements with acoustic, nostalgic folk.
“’VITAMIN T’ is an exploration into connection, and the importance of acknowledging and understanding the change in some relationships,” KERA digs into their past, the pain they’ve endured, and the growth that has come from it. “I wrote this song to honor my past relationships and to celebrate those that have given me the tools to identify the type of support I want to give and surround myself with.”
The introspection infused into a KERA song is so vivid it appeals to the deepest part of being human. Deeming their sound as bi-polar folk, ‘Vitamin T’ morphs over time as different sounds enter the landscape. We experience thumping acoustics, chanting drums, and harmonies that echo with emotion. A soft static effect is placed on KERA’s lead vocal that allows their rich personality to bleed through, giving it a vintage yet personal appeal. Toward the end, the percussion breaks into a new tempo that arises an awareness in the listener, almost the same way our relationships can change at any moment.
I had the privilege of asking KERA some questions about the track and the connections that inspired it. Dive deeper and read below:
Where did the title Vitamin T come from?
The title actually originates from a book called ‘Vitamin T’ written by Maggie Zadikov, and Bob Czimbal. The “T” standing for touch. Essentially the book is a guideline of ways to express healthy touch between partners, lovers, friends, work associates, and etc. I was first introduced a passage of this book by someone I admire greatly, and who oddly enough inspired this song.
Humans are very complex creatures interacting with one another and because we change, so do our relationships. How do you move on from past resentment or come to better understand a situation?
We all have a choice in the decisions we make, and how we choose to move past it, and for me it has never felt good to hold onto resentment of any kind. I’m not considering myself perfect in any way, I make my share of mistakes, but it’s my choice whether or not I want to stew in anger or rise above it. It’s so easy to be negative these days, and I don’t want to spare any room in my heart for it.
The harmonies that accompany you throughout the song seem to float above and behind you, so to speak, as if they were echoing in a large church. Where did the inspiration for this choice come from?
Jon Joseph is the producer I’ve worked with in all my most recent releases. He is a sonic genius. I won’t speak for him, but even in my demos of the tune early on I was inspired by Brian Wilson’s approach in recording/producing Smiley Smile.
This song is a gorgeous, light hearted wave of feeling, like we’re on the journey with you in understanding connection and relationships. When the drums change in the latter half of the song, what emotion comes with it?
I am glad to hear you enjoy the tune! I think it’s pretty great myself. My dear friend Ryan Oxford helped me arrange this tune late last year, and that was more his decision. It felt like the song wanted to go there.
If you would, talk about some of the connections you are grateful for!
I am grateful for all the meaningful connections I have been lucky to share space, conversation, and time with. I believe that whether it was healthy or not there have been people that have come into my life that have taught me something, and without some of them my life would look a little differently.
What is one thing you absolutely have to have with you when you’re writing a song?
I need a clean and organized space. I am a freak.
Your music evokes an emotional connection through your lyrics and instrumentation; is there something you’d like your audience to feel, or hope they feel, when they listen to your music?
I hope it makes it them feels things.
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