The Musicorium

Sharing some music.

Kaki King, and some revelations about David’s attention span

Posted by David on October 18, 2009

Dreaming of RevengeKaki King’s first album, Everybody Loves You (2003), is just her playing solo on an acoustic guitar. Her songs have great, compelling melodies, are pleasantly varied, and she quite nimbly blends into her playing all manner of slaps, beats and harmonics. Much of the time, I could easily lose interest when casually listening to one person play one instrument over a whole album, but she has the skill, and her compositions have the quality, to totally pull it off, and so Everybody Loves You impresses me plenty.

But her two most recent studio albums (Until We Felt Red of 2006 and Dreaming of Revenge from 2008) are dearer to me, and are what really drives me to post about her. In them she branches out from her solo guitar in the best possible way, bringing in drums, bass, electricity, strings, and her own characteristically soft, simple, almost childlike vocals. The new layers complement and build on the style of the lovely, progressive guitar tunes of the first album, rather than replacing that style with cookie-cutter pop music or what have you. I’ve found the results endlessly listenable. Supposedly, the new sound has been called “post-rock” — a rather nebulous label that I’ve heretofore seen applied mostly to extremely lengthy and repetitive, usually instrumental, occasionally pretty boring music*. Some of her stuff, conversely, is close to what I’d like to imagine “post-rock” would sound like: not too bound by genre clichés of instrumentation and pacing, not always plastered with a star singer’s vocals (many of the new songs are still instrumental) — and still engaging, punchy, listenable… But some of it is just rock (e.g. “Pull Me Out Alive“), and that’s ok too.

From album #1.

From the 2008 album.

Ok, one more, from the 2006 album. Sadly, no non-live version on all of mighty YouTube.

*Sorry, I mean, I find it boring. Some of it. I have not listened to all of the post-rock. I don’t really know what the term means and I claim no authority. I just got this foreboding sense of pretension about the whole business. And then I tried really hard to like Explosions in the Sky, and it still really bored the crap out of me, and then, you know, my prejudices were fully formed. But I totally like some stuff by GY!BE and I think Mogwai might be pretty cool and I still haven’t listened to much and yeah. This Is Not a Blog of Judgement.

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