When Austin label Keeled Scales introduced us to an artist named Katy Kirby, we could tell their was something special. Her music is a blend of indie rock and indie folk while treading between the two at her own pace. The way in which her music is crafted makes way for a sound that can blend the two genres with ease. On her new album Cool Dry Place, Kirby finds the balance between the two and uses both at her disposal in a way that warms the heart and eases your woes.
The nine track album opens with the softer sounds of “Eyelids.” Just Kirby’s tender vocals and an acoustic get the song started while brushes of piano come and go, offering subtle strokes into the tale. This is the perfect way to begin this album. The strongest suit being Kirby’s voice, it lends itself to the notion of keeping things simple. However things tick up on the second track “Juniper.” The mix of indie folk and indie rock are present as Kirby sings like a heavenly steward above the swaths of open throated instruments. The jangly guitar and the snappy drums fall within the engaging and up structure of the song. The backing vocals splice things up while adding heft before the distorted guitar makes an appearance.
While the sway of that song and the first show off the balance that the album holds, it’s the album as a whole that shimmers. While “Traffic!” has a feel good vibe and “Tap Twice” good be one of the most delicate examples of happiness displayed in modern music, there’s so much more here. The blossoming tone of “Secret Language” flourishes in arrangements and flow, offering a distanced beauty in its wake. “Fireman” contains such an organic and measured free flow that even its brush stroked drums can’t outweigh the power in how Kirby approaches singing. But while these are highly regarded points within, the favorite song comes on “Peppermint.” The dual vocals that pair with the off-kilter guitar tones throw your ears into this almost doo wop gaze. The song is essentially indie rock with R&B structure while glazed with this free jam tonal quality, it proves that within the genres or between them, Katy Kirby can create her own sound that doesn’t need definition because good music is always just that. So much so that it doesn’t require a box to fit inside of.
Cool Dry Place is available to purchase directly from Keeled Scales in various formats. The album is also available in all digital music stores or it can be streamed on all streaming providers.
Image Credits: Photo by Jackie Lee Young.