Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Kimbra - Settle Down

Song of the moment Somebody That I Used To Know may be Gotye's baby, but don't forget that "featuring Kimbra" extension.  The Australian-based Kiwi popstar is now bringing her similarly oddball brand of pop across the pond to our shores with the arrival of her 'Settle Down' EP.

Believe it or not, she's been around for a couple of years now on the other side of the world, with her debut album 'Vows' released last summer in both New Zealand and Australia.  She's won awards for both her solo work and the aforementioned single with Gotye, including NZ Critics Choice 2011 and has had considerable success in the charts (thank you Wikipedia).  If you hadn't guessed, she's pretty big over there.

Quirky is definitely in right now and Kimbra's music fits easily within this category.  Like Gotye, her weird-pop is eclectic and difficult to define.  Opening track Settle Down is the most obvious single with its "boom-ba-boom-bah" acapella vocal and hand clap beginning setting the tone for the rhythmically charged verses, the chorus taking a more expansive sound.  Cameo Lover has a disco feel that makes way for a motown inspired chorus.  By contrast the jazzy double bass in Good Intent is matched by Kimbra's deep, husky vocal with a sarcastic air.  The fluttering Limbo, lastly, has a more playful tone.  Despite its sometimes schizophrenic nature, what holds the EP together is a propensity for jazz harmonies, rhythmic layers and Kimbra's impressive vocal ability.  Each track, each change of mood, is paired with a different vocal colour - from a high whispering falsetto, to a low growl.  Like Gotye, this is idiosyncratic music that people will either love or hate.


Listen: 'Settle Down' is available to download now.