It’s not everyday that Street Road gets mentioned in a song. But when the lyrics are penned by Langhorne’s own Catie Turner, it makes perfect sense.
On June 9, the Neshaminy High School alum is releasing what’s arguably her most personal EP to date: Comedy & Tragedy: Act 1.
The six-song creation features “Hometown,” out May 26, the chorus of which includes the lyric, “I avoid Trevose and Street Road, cause I’m scared you’ll think I’m following you, even though it’s my hometown.” New Hope and Bellmawr, New Jersey also get shoutouts in the track.
“Writing songs, it’s very fun because you write them for yourself. And then you’ll show it to people and they’ll go, ‘Oh, this is good,’ and then you go, ‘Oh God, well now people are gonna know about Trevose and Street Road everywhere,’” Turner told The Times. “It definitely is a different type of fear I’m having.”
Ever since her impressive Top 7 finish on American Idol season 16, Turner has been steadily releasing new music, including the 2019 EP The Sad Vegan. But Comedy & Tragedy: Act 1, said Turner, is the first time her music showcases exactly who she is.
“I am a bubbly person, and then I write these devastating songs, and I was like, ‘That’s very confusing, I feel like my personality does not shine through on these songs I’m writing,’” she explained.
That all changed when her father was diagnosed with cancer and, in July 2022, passed away. Throughout his battle, Turner utilized songwriting as a type of therapy, and recognized how much she uses comedy as a coping mechanism. During his chemo treatments, jokes were regularly cracked by Turner in an effort to keep things light. But underneath the vibrant personality was sadness and trauma.
Thus, the title track was born.
“It became the basis of not only the whole EP, but the best description of my identity as an artist,” she said. “When I wrote that song, it perfectly wrapped it up in a bow of, ‘Oh, I’m two parts. There’s comedy and then there’s tragedy, and that’s just me as a person.’ So that’s what the EP is about. You’re gonna get some tragedy, or you’re gonna get a song like ‘Hyperfixations,’ which is more uptempo and a little bit more comedic with the intrusive thoughts and all the fast words coming at you, but it’s still gonna have an element of, ‘This is actually my brain cells all the time.’ I just wanted to give people a better understanding of who I am as a person.”
Turner elaborated on the creation of “Hyperfixations.” While many people obsess over a television show or book series, she became obsessed over how she came across to other people. “Do I look OK?” “Did I joke too much?” “Do they hate me?” Though Turner is now more confident in her “chaos,” she was once consumed with these intrusive questions, which is what the song highlights.
As for the “Hyperfixations” music video, it showcases Turner and her real-life friends auditioning for a stage production of Cinderella.
“It’s not every day that you get a budget, and you have friends, and you get to do dumb things and call it a music video. I think that’s a dream,” she said. “I was too shy to ever really put myself out there in high school, I never tried out for theater. I was watching a lot of Glee and I was like, ‘You know what guys? Why don’t we just make a really campy show where I am kind of the diva and we’re all in theater and it’s all to make a musical.’ It was very chaotic, but very camp, and I think that’s the best description of the song.”
This video is the first installment of Comedy & Tragedy: The Musical: The Series.
“It’s way more drama to come,” Turner promised. “By around the second day of filming the series, we were all getting very into character, so there’s way more to come.”
In addition to the new EP, Turner is embarking on her very first headlining tour, which makes a stop at Philadelphia’s World Café Live on June 13. In fact, her Los Angeles roommate Sophie Holohan is her supporting act.
When asked what concert-goers can expect on Comedy & Tragedy: The Headline Tour, which gets underway on June 3 in Dallas, Texas, Turner said, “A lot of comedy and tragedy, unintentionally. A lot of jokes that may land or may not. And then a hometown show at World Cafe Live where, if anyone wants to come, you’re gonna meet probably 100 members of my family, so it’s gonna be a night to certainly remember.”
For Turner, it’s an enjoyably weird experience to sing such personal songs to a crowd, and have that crowd sing the lyrics right back to her.
“It’s the most indescribable feeling,” she said. “I think it’s best said as, you just feel heard. It’s like when you meet somebody and, on your first meeting, you said a very tiny detail. But then five meetings or hangouts later, they mention that very specific detail. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, you were listening, that’s so cool.’ So it’s just really nice to feel seen. It’s a very appreciated feeling and I love it so much, so I’m very excited.”
As Turner grows her post-Idol career, she’s still considered part of the show’s family. On the current season of the reality competition show, she was invited to serve as a coach to the contestants alongside Clay Aiken, David Archuleta, Jordan Sparks and fellow Bucks Countian Justin Guarini.
“They asked me in October, and I just said, ‘Oh hell yeah. Yes, yes yes.’ It was such an honor,” said Turner, who admitted feeling a sense of imposter syndrome at first. “I felt like a contestant again, but I eventually got my footing and it was just really cool to be a part of it. I’m so grateful that I’m in that family and I get to watch them throughout the years and I’m still included.”
It’s already been a busy year for Turner, but this is just the start of it. Later in 2023, fans can expect, Comedy & Tragedy: Act 2, which gives listeners further insight into the artist’s brain.
“It’s a continuation of this dichotomy of two existing in one,” she said. “There are some of my favorite songs on that one, so I am very, very excited to put that one out, too.”
Visit catieturner.com for more information.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org