Acting as the perfect seasonal accomplice, much like the weather that has arrived alongside it, the entry of Cool Dry Place, the debut album by Katy Kirby, has brought a glimmer and glow to the residue of dreariness left lingering from cold. Just as Fleet Foxes feel so attached to Autumn, Kirby has laid claim to this seasonal throne – occupying this space of transition – this mist coated middle ground that lies stilly between winter and spring. Vast terrain, the whispers of a distant breeze and the etchings left from a dark and dreary winter, the works of Kirby bring with them change, hope, and a chance to lay down, listen, and fade into the horizon.
Following the release of her critically acclaimed debut album, Cool Dry Place, we caught up with the Texas-based artist to chat about which songs she’s been playing on repeat.
Pareidolia – Buck Meek
I’ve never met Buck, but we’re label mates (label cousins? Mates is a weird word) and he’s written so many lines I wish I’d gotten to first. I’ve heard this song (taken from new album, Two Saviors) at least once a day for the last few weeks, and I can’t get over the lyric ‘fold me a rose from a holiday napkin on the floor’— kinda odd on its own but unbelievably beautiful in context. I dream of being good enough to pull off that kind of line someday, and Buck makes stuff that makes me want to sit down to write because you can hear how much he enjoyed making it. That was a horribly constructed sentence but I can’t think of a way to say it any better? Anyway, this song is super satisfying to sing along to, I can’t possibly recommend it enough.
Ibuprofen – Blaketheman1000
I occasionally meet up with a few pals from college to swap songs over Zoom (the group text about it is titled ‘blake’s judgement zone’). This is one that Blake sent over this summer and I kept returning to the Google link for the rest of the week. It makes me miss dancing with friends! It’s a bit goofy, as the title would suggest, but deceptively beautiful (like most of the things he writes)– sounds like you had an awful day but you’re still feeling good on the way home from work.
Trying – Grumpy
Mason (frontperson of Grumpy) sings backup for me at shows sometimes and they have one of the best musical ears of anyone I know—all of the songs on this record are so harmony-conscious and brilliant, but my favorite is this one, especially because I’ve seen it live. They’re singing alone and even off-mic for a lot of the song, but it blossoms into this big achy chorus at the end that brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. It’s about hurting that someone you love is hurt, and Mason distills that into something extraordinarily simple and sharp.
2 4 6 – Mr. Batties
I think I first met Jeremy in college, when he and maybe like 9-10 other people I liked happened to have class schedules with the same lunchtime gap every Wednesday. Since then we run into each other very occasionally whenever I’m in Brooklyn (usually visiting blaketheman1000), but keeping up with the stuff he makes is damn thrilling. A couple times this summer I was having a rough afternoon that putting his discography on shuffle helped, and he just put out a new EP called Flights, Teflar, and Love that’s calming as hell. I listen a lot when I’m doing laptop work–it’s literally a perfect amount of movement to feel neither too still or too busy for sending emails or whatever. It’s also probably real good to make out to, but tbh haven’t tried it.
Jehovah, My Santa – Zeke and Ross ft. Dennis McCarke
Ross Collier is Nashville’s finest purveyor of refurbished Omnichords and my former roommate, and he played therevox (sounds like a pedal steel but not) on Cool Dry Place over the end of Tap Twice. He releases an omnichord-centric Christmas record every year (with Zeke and Dennis), usually hours long–it almost kills him every time. Imagine if Sufjan Stevens did the 50 states thing but on his Christmas records. They’re always shockingly good and catchy considering the insane origins of the project, but he really outdid himself this year. I’ve been humming ‘Jehovah, my Santa’ all day, and I could really care less that it’s February. It’s a hit!!
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