I would never confess to knowing everything about music… who am I kidding? There’s a huge amount I don’t know! This is just a hobby at the end of the day. But whatever I do listen to I generally take a close interest in it. That interest then goes into writing this blog.
So perhaps my tardiness is the reason I got caught out recently. Just about everyone will know the song “Someone that I used to know” by Gotye. If not, you should – it got to No. 1 in just about every country that has a chart. It’s my second favourite song on the album but what I didn’t realise is the lady that sings on the track is lass called Kimbra Lee Johnson.
Similarly, there is a bonus track on Foster the People’s album “Torches” (one of my favourite bands of the year – check out the review here) called “Warrior”. It’s an awesome track… and too my surprise, the same Kimbra Lee Johnson is the singer on it.
One of the reasons that this was all such a surprise is I’ve been waiting ages for Kimbra’s album to be released in the UK and I’ve been listening to it for a while. It was only whilst watching her perform at the Union Chapel in Islington, London, that she introduced the two songs and promptly started singing them! I suppose, in a round-about way, I ended up seeing 3 artists instead of one!
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the gig (although she was very good). I’m here to introduce you to Kimbra and her debut album “Vows”.
Lets start with some other facts that you may not know. Kimbra is from New Zealand (although she sounds very American when she speaks). She lives in Australia, she’s about 10 years younger than me and she does a funny dance whilst she sings. I think you’ll agree that they are all good facts!
As for her album… well, before I start, some folks have suggested that I have been reviewing a bit too much electo/electonica influence music of late so you will be glad to know that there is none of that here. Kimbra has a good gold fashioned(ish) band of a guitarist, a drummer, a keyboard player, and a bassist (who also plays the synth and samples).
One thing that does come through that I only realised whilst watching here is she uses a real-time sampler to layer her voice to create effects. KT Tunstall does a similar thing with her guitar but it’s probably a good way to explain Kimbra’s sound. She uses her voice as much as an instrument as to deliver vocals. It give her a unique sound that I find very interesting.
She’s clearly a very talented singer and that has allowed her to place herself in the center of her songs. I suppose she’s a bit like Imogen Heap (reviewed here) but much, much better.
The album itself is a good mix of up beat tunes and slower melodies. Lots of stories being told and plenty to keep you entertained. Particular favourites include “Posse”, “Cameo Lover”, and of course “Warrior” (which I should have figured out but I didn’t).
So there you go. I learned a new thing and hopefully you did too. I also hope that you go out and buy this album because I think it’s rather good.
GGG (3 out of 4)
Some of you will have noticed that I haven’t written a post for some time. After logging in tonight, I’ve noticed that I’ve started writing a couple of other posts but not finished them. I’ll blame work commitments but I’ll try and get back to them as soon as I can.