Indie rocker Katy Kirby has announced her debut album Cool Dry Place. In anticipation of the February 19th release date, the exciting young songwriter has shared her new song “Traffic!”
Kirby was born, raised, and home-schooled by two ex-cheerleaders in a small Texas town. At a young age she began singing in her church choir, and her musical education included a through understanding of — and eventual rebellion against — contemporary christian pop music. You may know the stuff: easy-listening, incredibly unchallenging, and accessible to the least-gifted vocalist in the pews. Now, as she said in a statement, “I can hear myself negotiating with that worship-ish music, fighting that deeply internalized impulse to make things that are super pleasant or approachable.”
To judge by lead single “Traffic!”, her music certainly qualifies as pleasant. The tune is bright and major-key, and it lingers in the ear after the song ends. But there’s no way in hell your average worshiper could sing along. Kirby’s melodies dive and twist, suddenly leaping up an octave only to flicker back down. And lest all that talk about christian pop had you worried, the various, challenging melodies never get close to sickly sweet.
The lyrics open like a great novel might open, with the line “I followed you into traffic.” She explained how “Traffic!” came about, writing,
“I’d gotten involved with someone objectively cooler and hotter than me, but was getting annoyed with how wrapped up he was in his own basic angst and mild life setbacks. Especially when it seemed so obvious that he’d been spared from much of human suffering’s broad spectrum. The song turned into something like a meditation on what counts as actual injury, like a rant about material vs. immaterial damage. What right do I have (nevermind the person I wrote this to, or everyone else) to self-interest, when the damage I sustain generally seems to roll right off me, like a cute lil’ Wile E Coyote running ‘round in the twilight of democracy, being absolutely f’ing fine.”
Step into “Traffic!” below. Cool Dry Place arrives February 19th via Keeled Scales.
Cool Dry Place Tracklist:
05. Tap Twice
06. Secret Languag
08. Cool Dry Place