Indie Music

Katy Kirby: Blue Raspberry review – depth disguised by breeziness

Cool Dry Place, Katy Kirby’s 2021 debut, introduced the Texas-born singer-songwriter as a cool-headed operator whose feather-light melodic voice and indie leanings offered original turns of phrase. Raised in an evangelical household, she came late to secular music. Her second album, written in Nashville, continues to make up for lost time, moving on in both craft and playfulness. The subtly funky Drop Dead recalls Feist in how Kirby smuggles depth into breeziness. Party of the Century is no fist-pumper, but a delicate love song about how bringing children into the world might be “ethically suspicious”. “Baby, you’re a time-bound entity event like me,” she croons.

Title track Blue Raspberry was named after a snow cone flavour that contained no actual raspberry. Kirby’s fixation with deceptive appearances continues on tracks such as Cubic Zirconia, a reference to the artificially produced diamond. Really, though, this set of songs traces the blossoming of a love affair with unshowy instrumentation and understated charm. Kirby figured out she was queer, fell in love and out of it again; or a “carpet bomb of oestrogen” as Wait Listen puts it. And in Redemption Arc, a quietly devastating piano-led piece, lies confirmation that she is the real deal.

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