Something for Kate singer Paul Dempsey has had one of the worst years of his life. Dempsey battled depression in 2005, trying different medications to help. He’s now come out the other side and says he is happier than he has ever been – coinciding with the group’s return to public life. “It was a really rough year, definitely the worst year of my life yet,” said the Melbourne-based Dempsey, 29. “It was everything. Personal problems led to a lot of doubt and difficulty about professional things and they all kind of feed each other.”
Dempsey said he did not want to sound like a whingeing musician because he appreciated the many positives in his life. But suffering depression was something he could not get away from. “I went on medication and I just thought I was losing my mind because of a number of things,” he said. “I have had bad bouts of depression for as long as I can remember but this was the first time that it was bad enough that I thought I needed help.”
Looking forward, Dempsey is keen to get back on the road and is enjoying his music.Something for Kate has a new single, Cigarettes and Suitcases, in stores and will release a new album, Desert Lights, in July. It will be the group’s fifth studio album. The group will also play a series of dates around the country this month, starting in Coffs Harbour on May 19, before heading to Brisbane, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth. “I am just really excited about what we have come up with,” he said.”I have honestly never been happier.”
Dempsey said Desert Light signaled a new direction for the band. “We just wanted to be a lot more live sounding and have less of the multi-layered heavy orchestration,” he said.”It just feels really energetic and fresh for us.”
Best known as the enigmatic and talented frontman for Melbourne trio Something For Kate, Paul Dempsey’s intriguing and captivating songs can also occasionally be heard when he steps out into the spotlight at one of his solo acoustic gigs. Stripped backand raw, Paul’s songs (both from SFK and his own material) are rendered with an intimacy and unrestrained passion that’s made him one of the most respected singer/songwriters in the country.
With one early solo album under his belt (under the title ‘Scared Of Horses’, the album An Empty Flight), Paul’s latest collaboration is with indie supergroup the Givegoods, featuring ex-Smudge player Tom Morgan, Evan Dando and more. Stepping behind the kit Paul both produced the record and played drums on the album.
“ When Paul decided to do a few weeks of solo shows a couple of years ago,” remembers Richard Moffat, promoter and booker of The Corner in Melbourne, “he didn’t want to go under his own name, so he was booked under Hawaiian Robot [a then-unreleased song title] and set up to play in the bar. For days beforehand I had press people calling up asking, ‘Who’s this Hawaiian Robot?’ and I guarantee that nobody on the radio or anywhere knew about it. And we had 300 people show up! That was the first time I realized it had gotten silly. I mean, no one – not Neil Finn or Peter Garrett – would be able to get that many. No one.”
While Paul’s solo performances are rare, they’re unbeatable. Don’t miss them.
National Depression Week — 2 weeks ago
Did anyone know it was National Depression Week on 17th-23rd April?
“If you know someone who’s depressed please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation, depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other-side.
It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.”