by: Kyle Smart
While summertime is still just beginning to unfold, and we have our minds set on music festivals, cookouts, and beating the heat, I have to take a minute to post some new music from one of my favorite artists. Kimbra broke on the scene with her freshman album “Vows” which is full of beautiful tracks. Peppy and upbeat, soulful and dramatic. Kimbra is a powerhouse. She earned worldwide spotlight on Gotye’s “Somebody that I Used to Know,” and now she has been hard at work on her sophomore album “The Golden Echo.”
Now I am a firm believer in the infamous “Sophomore Slump.” For those who don’t know, that’s when an artist, with a successful debut album, releases their second album to fall flat. This may come from over-expectations, failing to live up to hype, trying to rebottle the same uniqueness again, changing too much, not changing enough, or a hundred other things. It’s happened to many of my favorite artists, no one is safe. So when Kimbra released her first new track “90’s music,” my heart sank. I hated it, and I still don’t like it. It has grown on me, but I still was fearful for the album. All I could think of was “Has she gone this far from ‘Vows?'” I hoped the whole album would not be so eccentric and overzealous, full of neon whim and 90’s pop. Sophomore Slump may win again.
Lo and behold! Two new tracks have surfaced, and they surpass “90’s Music” in every way. They are full of soul, and Kimbra charm that I fell in love with before. She is a powerhouse of vocals again. Toe tapping, jazzy, catchy; all of the things I expect out of Kimbra. Granted these don’t match anything on “Vows” for me, but I believe her diversity is going to show greatly on this coming album and I expect there to be ups and downs. In the end, the slump may get her. But until August, I will be playing “Nobody But You” and “Love in High Places” on repeat.