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Katie Callahan Premieres Her ‘EXTRAORDINARY’ New “There You Are” Music Video

There tends to be a lot of spirituality gathered within folk music, and it’s a state of mind that Katie Callahan has really tapped into with her new song “There You Are” and latest album ‘EXTRAORDINARY.’



Katie Callahan, photo by Lindsey Patkos

There tends to be a lot of spirituality gathered within folk music, and it’s a state of mind that Katie Callahan has really tapped into with her new song “There You Are” and latest album EXTRAORDINARY. Today marks the debut of the song’s accompanying music video, which features Callahan performing the song intermixed with an impressionistic composition.

The song, and the album it is from, is a very personal one and came as a great challenge to her when she was trying to hash it out in the recording studio. Obviously, the results are very positive, and it’s representative of the personal journey that this album came to be. “There You Are” touches on the relationship between body and self, influenced by Callahan’s upbringing with the Church, and how it has come to affect her as an adult and as a songwriter.

Due for release on June 2nd, EXTRAORDINARY is Callahan’s third album and second proper studio record. It shows a lot of progression for her as a songwriter, with each song delivered with sincerity and conviction. With this collection of songs, she was really able to take a deep dive into her mind and psyche, digging into very personal thoughts, memories, and points of view, and finding the beauty within those states of mind. On the whole, EXTRAORDINARY is an examination of feminine strength, which she hopes is a comforting space for women to embrace, particularly for those who may feel unworthy, undesirable, or even unladylike.

Musically, the album is entrenched within the long history and tradition of folk music, a compelling marriage between melody and lyrical stories. There is also a heavy influence of Americana, with beds of acoustic instrumentation that move swiftly into more modern, indie/alternative pop anthems. The core and sentiment of the songs remain the same throughout though; the words and the story are ultimately what resonates.

Along with the premiere of the “There You Are” music video, Callahan joins us today for a thorough chat about the song, the video, the EXTRAORDINARY album, and more.


1. The Undertaker’s Daughter
2. Once at a Wedding
3. Hungry
4. Love Song for a Best Friend
5. Extraordinary
6. Magnificent Beast (Keep It All Together)
7. There You Are

Katie Callahan “There You Are” single artwork

Katie Callahan “There You Are” single artwork

What inspired you to write this song? What is the story behind it?

Katie Callahan: “‘There You Are’ came from a monthly songwriting project I did throughout 2022 where I crowdsourced song topics and then selected one at random and spent each month writing and recording a little demo. The topic for that particular month was ‘forgiveness,’ and I was really having trouble divorcing the idea from a religious context, because I grew up in church and forgiveness is sort of a major theme there.

“But I wanted to reimagine it in a different context, so I began to think about who offered forgiveness and what it meant to receive it. Ultimately, I landed on imagining a relationship between the physical Body and the spiritual/emotional/intellectual Self, and because my relationship with my body has been quite fraught, the need for forgiveness from my Body to my Self seemed really important. So that’s where I landed.

“The song moves in a linear arc: the first verse is about delighting in the Body as a kid, the second is about being taught to hate it and hide, the third is about self-harm and body hatred, and the fourth is about birth and pregnancy and reunifying in an embodied and holistic way. It’s a story of bringing back together what was never meant to be taken apart in the first place.”

Was this an “it came easily” song, or did you have to chip away at it over time to get it to be what you wanted it to be?

“This is literally the most difficult song I’ve ever written. I’m not sure if it’s because the subject matter was so woven into all these old stories I had about my body and my relationship to it, or if it was because I was using all this salvific language to describe what my body has been to me from the beginning, but writing it was physically exhausting. I sort of forced myself to keep at it until I had something, deadlines will do that to you, and I’m super proud of the song, knowing the work that it took.

“When I got to the studio, the counts between lines and verses were all wrong and it took Matt (Odmark, my producer) and the band a lot of time to sort out where I’d goofed on my little demo, like even the music was pushing back a little bit in the process, but we got there and the result is beautiful, I think.”

Your music toes the line between several genres. What kind of a vibe were you going for on this song and how would you describe how it sounds to people?

“I feel very comfortable identifying as an indie folk/Americana artist; there feels like there’s a lot of space in those categories to explore sounds, instrumentation, song structure, and lyricism. I’m a singer first, so lyrics matter a great deal to me, and often there is a little pop sensibility thrown in. I also grew up listening to indie and alternative rock, and there’s the occasional dip into acoustic and folk country, too. For me, the whole thing is the songwriting and the story. Is ‘tries to tell a story honestly’ a genre? Maybe that’s mine.”

Do you have any favourite moments or lyrics in this song?

“There’s this beautiful moment in the final verse where the language there really orients birth and pregnancy with the Judeo-Christian symbols of salvation and forgiveness, ‘blood and water flow down/into the earth,’ where violinist Avery Bright does this perfect cascade of notes, and it feels like a waterfall. It feels like a baptism. I love it. And because that part was added after I’d left Nashville, it was such a surprise and a little gift.”

How do you feel this song fits into the album, EXTRAORDINARY? What made you choose it as a single?

“I started to envision this album as a body, we are working a theme here, pretty early on, and I started to realize that a lot of the songs correlated to specific parts of the body just like the yogic concept of chakras. The idea that emotional experiences and spiritual practices have a relationship to a physical part of the body was so appealing to me that I just leaned all the way in and EXTRAORDINARY became that: a complete body.

“‘There You Are’ is the final track; it’s in correlation with the crown chakra, the higher self, the consciousness chakra, the connection to the Divine. And for me, as a spiritual person with deeply religious roots, my body has become the conduit of holiness for me: what am I experiencing, how is nature reflected in me and the rhythms of my body, how am I both deeply holy and also just the earth I’m made from? This song felt like the most complete final thought I could offer this project.”

Who were your biggest influences for this album and your music overall? Did any of your inspirations for this song stem from those influences?

“This is always a moderately embarrassing question because when you grow up in an Evangelical space, chances are you weren’t allowed to listen to a whole lot of ‘secular’ music, and when you grow up that way and then by some miracle end up working with some of your childhood musical heroes, you have to then admit that they’re your greatest influences. So… shout out to Jars of Clay and especially Matt Odmark, and their willingness to be spiritual explorers and spacemakers for songwriters like me who needed to see what was possible before they could try themselves.

“Realistically, this song is shaped and moves a lot like a church song does: it begins quiet, it evolves slowly, it builds to a definitive climax. It’s emotional, evocative. Megan Coleman, who really just made it happen on the drums, came up from the session and said, ‘Man, those were worship drums,’ and I’m pretty sure she’s right.”

The video is beautiful. Whose idea was the video treatment? Who directed and filmed it?

“Thank you so, so much. This was a collaboration between my friend, Rachel Replogle of Replogle Studios, and myself. We met a few years back at a retreat in Ojai, California, and is someone who I’ve been wanting to work with for some time now. This was the perfect piece. I’d seen a dance video they’d shot, and it was so special; both the dancer (Kate Laughlin) and the space were so striking, and when I explained the story of the song and how I wanted two dancers to tell the story of the Body and the Self’s relationship, they absolutely ran with it.

Maddie McCarthy joined Kate (both Chicago-based dancers) to complete the vision. And so I found myself at the North Church Venue in Muncie, Indiana of all places, a church fallen into ruin and then brought back to life as an event space, complete with stained glass and wild high ceilings and fixtures. It was a really beautiful way to capture and reclaim the notion of holy bodies, of the sacredness of that relationship between folks and their bodies.”

What story do you think the video tells? What is your favourite moment or part of it?

“Since ‘There You Are’ is very focused on bodies, it seemed really important that movement be part of the storytelling, and I knew I wanted dancers to communicate the relationship of the Body and the Self from youth to adulthood. All the best parts of the video are watching Kate and Madison move through the narrative of first playful interaction, then turning away and hiding, then pursuit and harm, and finally reconciliation and forgiveness. Because it was all improvised, every take they performed was this gorgeous, singular, unreproducible moment that I still feel lucky to have witnessed.”