I stopped watching The Voice after Season 5, way back in 2013. Call it reality singing competition fatigue. Or, rather, a realization that the kinds of artists I like and root for just aren’t the kinds that win. I lost Juliet Simms in Season 2, Melanie Martinez in Season 3, and then Kat Robichaud in Season 5. Robichaud's loss was just too much. How did she feel to lose after being instantly saved, after having the judges rally behind her, after getting support from indie rock icon Amanda Palmer? Well, almost two years later, there's an answer: “I definitely took my few minutes for tears. I loved being on The Voice. But for me, the blow [of being eliminated] was softened by Amanda inviting me to sing with her and Neil [Gaiman] at The Town Hall in New York City the next day.”
Since The Voice, Robichaud has been far too busy to wallow, even if she was the wallowing kind. After performing with Palmer and Gaiman, she launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new album Kat Robichaud and The Darling Misfits. The campaign more than doubled the initial goal, thanks in part to awesome rewards like custom song covers for backers, but thanks mostly to the loyal support of her fans, many of whom found her through The Voice. Now, Robichaud is hard at work promoting the album before it drops on January 27.
The album, in a word, is weird. In a really good way. But, still, weird. Weirder than you’d expect from a former contestant on The Voice. “I just wanted this really dramatic album, for people who wanted something weird and different and slightly grandiose," said Robichaud. "It’s just what I am.” But that doesn’t mean Robichaud cut all ties with The Voice. In fact, one of the strongest tracks on the album, “Apple Pie and a Knife," is actually about her last night on the show.
“The night I was eliminated, I was standing next to Caroline Pennell, who is the complete opposite of me. This lovely, lovely Ellie Goulding type of singer who is very easy to love. She was the apple pie. And for me, I was the knife. I was abrasive. And sometimes for people I can be really hard to swallow. So the night I was eliminated, I was thinking [about the voters] you want the apple pie, and I’m the knife.”
Robichaud's happy being the knife. Her new album is loud, outlandish, dark, and theatrical. It’s also message-conscious. She rages against “slut-shaming” in “Apple Pie and the Knife” and denounces damaging beauty standards in “Definition of Pretty.” The song ends up serving two purposes. “In this society we put these standards on each other that are so unrealistic. I wrote [the song] for little girls looking at magazines starving themselves and pinching their nonexistent belly fat. I hope it makes a difference in their lives. And I hope it makes a difference in my life. If I sing ‘Definition of Pretty’ enough times, I think maybe I will have less of a negative body image, too.”
That’s what Kat Robichaud and The Darling Misfits is all about. Supporting “misfits” and helping Robichaud grow, as an artist and a person. The album comes out on January 27 and is available for pre-order on ITunes and Amazon.