The summer of 2014 was both hellish and heavenly for Kate Eppers.
“It started out badly, very traumatic. I felt angry and betrayed,” said the Lynn singer/songwriter/pianist and actress, declining to elaborate. “But by the end of that summer, I had fallen head-over-heels in love. I was in a truly euphoric state.”
The fluctuating range of emotions also fueled her songwriting. She sat at her piano and poured her heart and soul into a batch of tunes.
Here it is, three years later, and seven of those songs populate “The Wishing Well,” Eppers’ self-funded debut album. Like that long, hot summer of extremes, the music’s mood swings from confused and crestfallen to clearheaded and blissful.
On Saturday, Sept. 16, Eppers will host a CD release party at Opus restaurant in Salem.
Eppers grew up in Salem and spent her first five years in Lynn, which she again calls home. Music and the creative arts have always been an integral part of her life.
“My bubbe (grandmother) was a piano teacher. She taught me the fundamentals. My mom (Jane) is an artist and my father (David) played trumpet and piano for fun. He died (at age 49) when I was 12 years old,” said Eppers. “I actually released this album (in digital format) on St. Patrick’s Day, my dad’s birthday.”
Her stepfather, Lee MacGillivray, is also the creative type; he plays guitar and is a talented photographer.
“The Wishing Well” is all about love and falling in love,” said Eppers. It is piano-based, much in the dreamy/melancholy style of Tori Amos. Production flourishes (strings, flutes, drums, guitars) enhance the album’s intimate feel. “I met Tori when I was 13 or 14, after her concert. My friend’s father knew Matt Chamberlain, who was Tori’s drummer. Tori was so nice, and her music is a heavy influence, as is Disney music.”
Eppers also is vocalist with the Teal Street Band, a five-piece band led by Melrose’s Bob Nasella that plays weddings and events.
Music isn’t Eppers’ only passion. The Salem State University grad (music and sociology) has acted in several locally-shot independent films, including “The Chair,” for which she composed a song; it is in post-production. At ages 8 to 17, she performed in Harvard University’s comedic The Ig Nobel Awards, a parody of the Nobel Prize, which celebrates unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research “that first make people laugh, and then make them think.”
How did she get that gig? “Pure nepotism. My uncle was editor of a magazine there,” she said, then laughed.
But the positive reviews she’s been receiving for “The Wishing Well” is totally her doing and that of her band. With a little help from that turbulent summer of 2014.
Kate Eppers, CD release party, at Opus, 87 Washington St., Salem, Sept. 16, 9 p.m. No cover. Joining her on stage will be violinist Paul Cronin, members of Boston rock band One Time Mountain, and the Teal Street Band. The Bon Saints will open. For additional information, go to kateeppers.com