When people think of Kimbra, they probably associate her with another recent sensation from Down Under, Gotye. Most people first heard her as the female voice that speaks out in the second half of his song about modern heartbreak, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Both artists rose to fame quickly over the past six months after the song became a radio hit, leading to a US tour where the pair performed the song live. I was lucky enough to be at their show in Seattle and witness the glory firsthand.
However, my path to Kimbra was slightly different. I came upon her in the last year through a friend’s Facebook video post of her Live at Sing Sing Studio Sessions. It didn’t take long before Kimbra fever set in and I was hooked. I can compare my enthusiasm for her and her music to what I feel for Janelle Monae: unconditional love. Besides the fact that she is a great performer, I love her mainly for a few simple reasons: 1) She can sing—high, low; soft, loud; big, small; and she does it better than you; 2) She feels and performs songs using her entire body; 3) She mixes elements of soul, jazz (!), pop and heavy rhythms in her music that create incredible tunes which are fun, catchy and interesting to listen to; 4) She produces interesting vocals through looping (although I haven’t seen this live yet); 5) She is humble and honest about her talent and where she’s going.
Did I mention I like Kimbra? Let’s keep the love going and talk about her as a person. She’s been performing for most of her life and although she was born in New Zealand, she’s most recently been living in Melbourne, Australia (which is where she met Gotye). At the ripe age of 22, she’s hit it big, yet managed to keep a clear head and a humble heart. During a recent interview, she stated that she wasn’t interested in the celebrity of being a musician. Hold up. I’m sorry, did she just say what no one expected to hear? This proves that Kimbra is, in fact, a rare musical creature I’ve heard about in legend, but didn’t think actually existed. Yes, there are human beings out there not obsessed with themselves. What a breath of fresh air.
I could go on and on and on, but I’ll let you be the judge. Kimbra will be in Seattle THIS TUESDAY (get your tickets!!!) performing with Mayer Hawthorne & The County and Foster the People at WAMU Theater (get your tickets!!!). She collaborated with Mark Foster from Foster the People and A-Trak on “Warrior,” which is a bonus track on the new album. I have a feeling they will perform it live at tomorrow’s show (get your tickets!!!).
“Withdraw” is one of my favorites off her debut solo album, Vows, and wasn’t included in the US release.
Foster the People w/Mayer Hawthorne & The County and Kimbra
Tuesday, June 26th
Doors 7pm (Rumor has it Kimbra is on at 7:30pm, so don’t be late)
Tickets: $28 + $12 fees(!) = $40 (if you buy online)
(Kimbra will also be in town for Decibel Festival in September. Stay current with IRW for coverage!)