Independent Artist of the Week: Kiri

May 25th 2021

Singer-songwriter Kiri focuses on the small things. From social media likes to self-preservation in a relationship, her bread-and-butter is everyday life. There’s nothing ordinary about her music though – her folk ballads meld into wandering electronic tunes, with a jazz sensibility laid over the top. Her eponymous debut EP captures her eclectic style in five songs, with her sugar-sweet vocals pulling it all together.

Opener ‘Newsfeed’ sets the tone of the EP. It’s a smooth slow jam, with a casual guitar line and Kiri’s vocals leading the track. It explores social media and its effects on people and their relationships. As with many of Kiri’s tracks, the acoustic tone soon gives way to electronic flourishes, particularly fitting given the subject matter of the song. ‘Drunk (Interlude)’ follows, building upon the electronic elements of the EP. It’s a short interlude that sees Kiri’s vocals distorted and faded, in contrast to their centre-stage position in ‘Newsfeed’. ‘Drunk (Interlude)’ does what an interlude should do; it breaks up the EP while still carrying along the key elements. 

Midway point ‘Blood Clot City’ is a highlight. It returns to soft guitar backing and Kiri’s vocals, similar to ‘Newsfeed’, but it’s got more of an edge to it. From the outset there’s more electronic manipulation, and Kiri is joined by a strong horns section mid-track. It’s a jazzy track that allows Kiri to showcase everything she’s got.

‘Don’t Try This At Home’ is an at-times-brutal track set after a relationship. Kiri’s vocals float above the ambient electronic beats and the ever-present guitar, sounding sweet but conveying a different story. 

“‘Don’t Try This At Home’ was intended to be left on an answering machine: after leaving a relationship; I was able to be honest and scathing.”

There’s a taste of a dance beat at the tail end of the track, hinting at the catharsis to come. Ultimately, it doesn’t come to fruition; Kiri is just as powerful when she leaves her listeners to fill in the gaps.

Closer ‘Dry July’ returns to the more traditional ballad. There’s a feeling of closure from this track, especially when compared to ‘Drunk (Interlude)’. Kiri’s vocals reverb out at the end, wrapping up her debut EP journey. It’s been a successful outing, with Kiri making a strong entrance. If this EP is anything to go by, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for Kiri across the Sydney scene and beyond.

Tune in to Up For It with Courtney Ammenhauser every Monday from 6am to meet your Independent Artist of the Week!