Mp3 CBR 320 kbps / Flac (tracks) / 24bit-96kHz FLAC (tracks) | Indie Pop, Dream Pop | 16:15 | 37 / 103 / 336 MB
Sarah Kinsley's voice is a feat of grace and wonder, daringly diving and swooping like it's the most natural thing in the world. It's so unnerving, you might wonder if the whole shebang's for real—is the voice, all that twee cuteness and the hyper racing pop beat of "Oh No Darling!" just a camp wink at pop music? That completely memorable and thought-provoking track packs in sonic references to K-pop and ABBA, the wild and free pop experimentalism of Marina and Japanese Breakfast, and the stretch-for-the skies eccentricity of Florence + the Machine. Except Kinsley manages to extend just a little higher as she sings about the existentialism and uncertainty of life in your 20s: "Oh, no, darling, there she goes/ Runnin' with her head/ For the sake of living on the edge." Catchy "Black Horse" is empowering in that it imbues a visceral, energizing feeling of power, with Kinsley doing both dark and dramatic and baby-doll affectations in a piano-pop swirl (shades of Lady Gaga's early Lower East Side dive-bar days). "I found it senseless being carefree/ But now something in me screams/ To be wild … To stop playing the first-born daughter in your American dream/ What's in it for me?" she sings, emphasizing the last syllable in "American" in such an off-kilter, intriguing, ear-catching way that it makes you wonder what led to the choice. And that's the thing—this is pop music you think about. There is nothing passive about "Lovegod" and its romantic jazz fusion that might have been called New Age in the '90s. Kinsley is naively looking for romance ("Lovegod/ Send me someone, send me anyone/ To kiss away the forces of my mind") but also funny as she skewers a slightly deranged determination to get what she wants ("So I'll give the prick a chance/ and I'll stare into his eyes/ His lips don't say it, but I know it/ They are yearning to be mine"). Of Chinese-American descent, she grew up in small-town Connecticut and then Singapore, playing classical music in youth orchestras and loving Kate Bush and Solange before studying music theory at Columbia University—maybe that's the magical formula to her charming madness. But there's also an impressive stubbornness about doing things in her own way; she largely produces her own work, in a backlash against the lack of female producers, and plays guitar, violin, piano, and synth. If there's no one else around to tell her she's breaking the rules, does she even know? Here's hoping that, now that Kinsley is signed to Verve Forecast—offering the promise of a full-length album after four leave-them-wanting-more EPs—she'll never find out.
01. Sarah Kinsley - Oh No Darling!
02. Sarah Kinsley - Black Horse
03. Sarah Kinsley - Ascension
04. Sarah Kinsley - Lovegod
05. Sarah Kinsley - Sliver Of Time