Meet our newest guitar hero, Kaki King. She told us she wants to be a rock star. We think she already is.
“Thoughtful and provocative.” A phrase designed to make you look intelligent, but that often serves the higher purpose of making you sound like a tool. That being said, Kaki King’s sound; her lyrics; her voice; the environments she creates with her music; they pull you in, ask you questions, and make you think. It doesn’t demand answers, but places a few beautifully created ideas on the metaphorical table and simply says, “I’ll exist with or without you.” (This magic is all part of a genre the Golden Globe-nominated musician calls, “wet concrete fence post rock.”)
A step to the left of her previous musical path, Kaki King’s latest album, Dreaming of Revenge—the perfect example of music made for the simple love of it—features lyrics where earlier it was just her instrumentals which left us with eyes wide. The sudden change is a testament to her belief that, “lyrics personalize music in a more immediate way,” and an effort to connect. “When I sing I sound instantly like me—adding vocals to certain pieces shortens the distance between artist and listener.”
In the albums of times past, the sounds she created with her unique fret-tapping and slap bass techniques gave you the key to a secret garden. This time round with simple melodies layered on top of more complex guitar work and a voice like pillow talk, she holds your hand and takes you for a walk while singing her stories in your ear. You might see some nuclear destruction (“Yellowcake”) or a cryogenically frozen body part sticking out of the flora (“Saving Days In A Frozen Head”), but don’t worry, it’s all meant to be there.
This is all in addition to the fact that Dave Grohl, whose album she was recently featured on, described her as being, “f*cking awesome.” We cannot question this statement. Go and listen, and for the sake of all things good, close your eyes.
By Roya Azadi
Photo courtesy of Gen Art Pulse