Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Killer Opening Songs (Settle Down by Kimbra)

Killer Opening Songs has a natural propensity towards artists who challenge themselves. Especially those who do it in the predictable world of pop music. Kimbra is one of those artists. Since K.O.S. first heard the New Zealand-born chanteuse on Radio Paradise, our Regular Musical Section with Homicidal Tendencies has been on a magical journey that’s taken it from jazz to funk, to Latin music. These are just some of the genres gently stroked by the up-and-coming star in her debut album, Vows.

Settle Down is the Killer Opening Song that unleashes Kimbra’s talent on to the world. “Unleash” is the right word in this context for creativity in the fickle world of pop is hard to come by these days. This is the reason why, when one comes across catchy tunes with meaningful lyrics, the effect is that of getting caught in the middle of a musical downpour with no previous warning. Settle Down is a magnificently-arranged funky parody of domestic bliss longing. You know Kimbra’s being facetious from the opening lines: I wanna settle down/I wanna settle down/Won't you settle down with me?/Settle down/We can settle at a table/A table for two/Won't you wine and dine with me?/Settle down. All the time

And all this against a groovy background of hand-clapping and zany vocals.

Vows continues in a similar quirky and unpredictable vein. Something in the Way You Are is a slow soul jam. Cameo Lover harks back to 60s girls groups. Old Flame could well have come of Wham’s songbook. Good Intent is a proper R’n’B Timbaland-lite melody. She even has time to re-work Nina Simone’s Plain Gold Ring, maybe the album’s weakest moment. Kudos, though, for her audacity.

Kimbra didn’t just materialise out of thin air even if that’s the impression with which the album and, especially the Killer Opening Song Settle Down, leaves you. She was the guest vocal on Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know, one of the most beautiful pop songs K.O.S. has heard in recent years.

Vows might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you like your music running along clear-cut lines, then, Kimbra’s not for you. If, however, you don’t mind stylistically disjointed records with a dash of electro-funk, a pinch of indie and a teaspoon of chill-out all mixed, re-mixed and simmering slowly in a smooth jazz marinade, then, this will probably be your must-buy CD of 2013. And it all begins with a Killer Opening Song.

© 2013

Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on 17th March at 10am (GMT)


18 comments:

  1. Wow, what a voice, and what a beat.

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  2. oh fantastic man....had never heard of her...this is an exciting find....thanks for the intro...

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  3. No soy muy amante de la música pop, pero sinceramente me ha gustado, veo un ritmo dentro de todo tranquilo.
    Un abrazo

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  4. Great voice! I really like the song and the concept of the video.It demonstrates the fantasy and reality that marriage sometimes is.

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  5. Ok, the hair was a little Raquel Welch Wigs Half Off, & I am worried the little girl in the video will be scarred for life, but Kimbra has a freakn great voice.~Mary

    ps I keep meaning to mention how much I LOVE your header picture.

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  6. Love it! Never heard of Kimbra...but will be seaking her songs out...thanks for the introduction to her :)

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  7. I hadn't heard of Kimbra before either, but wow:
    I am a fan now!
    Many thanks for the introduction.:)

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  8. It was enough to get my granddaughter dancing!

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  9. Great mixture indeed, never heard of her either until now.

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  10. Very cool! She has a very interesting presence--great beats and voice--thanks much. k.

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  11. Thank you all for your kind comments. I have a Kimbra-ed week so far! :-) I can't get enough of her music on youtube.

    Greetings from London.

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  12. interesting song adn artist. That is a song that makes you wonder. A lot. Not a song I would put on when I do the dishes.

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  13. What nice voice CIL I wanna heard more of her:)
    Thanks!

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  14. Cool always nice to discover new music

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  15. Me ha encantado tu blog muy completo las fotos son muy artísticas saludos desde el sur de Chile,abrazos y abrazos.

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