Rising indie songwriter Katy Kirby is learning how to navigate young adulthood without a roadmap, and part of that means grappling with her relationship with her family. On new single “Juniper”, taken from her upcoming album Cool Dry Place, Kirby opens up about motherhood from the eyes of a daughter, and all the reasons why she’s anxious about becoming a parent someday.
“I’m uncommonly open and close with my mom, and she’s asked several times if [this song] is about her — if you’re reading this Lisa, I swear, it’s not!! — but I was trying to work out how many distinct ways that sort of dynamic can uniquely harm,” Kirby said in a statement.
“I wound up thinking a lot about vacancy, sort of how abandonment can happen even if someone technically sticks around,” she continued. “I heard Greta Gerwig say in an interview about Ladybird that ‘nobody doesn’t have a complicated relationship with their mother.’ That feels pretty reasonable to me as far as super-broad statements go, and is maybe (probably) part of what scares me to death about raising a kid.”
Sure enough, “Juniper” is a lackadaisical indie rock romp that sees Kirby waxing poetic about her relationship with her mother using nature metaphors. “Never got around to asking her/ The difference between weeds and herbs and flowers,” she sings in the chorus, letting her guitar add extra emphasis to her emotions. It’s a relatively short song, but Kirby uses every second and word wisely. Stream it below.