Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Listen: Kinlaw - "drama in the south"

photo by Landon Speers
Considering how much SOFTSPOT appears to rely on singer/songwriter/bassist Sarah Kinlaw's ability to not only draw inspiration from unexpected sources but inhabit those circumstances so concretely that many of SOFTSPOT's songs seem like completely immersive experiences, the idea that Kinlaw had need of another outlet to express this caught me a bit off guard. In fact when she played a solo set last year I had assumed she would essentially be playing stripped down SOFTSPOT songs only to realize she had a whole body of work completely separate from her band of collaborators. "drama in the south", the first single from Kinlaw's upcoming solo album a trigger for everybody, essentially captures Kinlaw's artistic spirit in motion. Featuring fluttering synths, "drama in the south" proceeds much like an afterimage: Kinlaw's vocals stretching out, overlapping, and eventually enveloping everything. It's a song that draws on Kinlaw's wide variety of interests and talents: dance, music, art blending them. It's music inspired by an array of artistic disciplines and yet doesn't necessarily insist you be familiar with them to enjoy it. a trigger for everybody may be inspired by everything from sound effecting movement to ASMR but "drama in the south" shows that it's capable of standing alone on purely aural merits. Choreography and a sense of place may elevate it but "drama in the south" stands on pretty firm ground to begin with. It's an intoxicating bit of sweetly melodic art pop offered up without much in the way of pretension: a trait Kinlaw's songs with SOFTSPOT effortlessly share.

Sarah Kinlaw's first solo effort as Kinlaw a trigger for everybody is out June 23rd and currently available to pre-order on limited edition cassette from Soap Library. Kinlaw will also being doing a set of limited engagement shows at the Wythe Hotel on June 12th featuring choreography set to the album. You can score tickets to that here.

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