Quirky female solo artist in the vein of Bjork and Kate Bush: a phrase that seems a bit tired now? Well maybe you should think again. New Zealand’s Kimbra is trying to reinvent what it means to be a female pop star in this day and age. She is taking a tried-and-tested formula and making something genuinely exciting out of it.
‘Settle Down’, her latest single, is a perfect example of how she takes the recipe for pop success and puts a little spin on it. Kimbra’s vocals are similar to that of French singer Camille’s, and anyone familiar with the latter’s work will know that all is never as idyllic as the lush melodies would have you believe. There is something eerily obsessive about ‘Settle Down’ that is only heightened by the haunting Ken & Barbie-styled video that accompanies it.
Sunny-side up pop might not be to everyone’s taste but you have to appreciate what Kimbra is trying to achieve: writing well-structured and catchy tunes that doesn’t have the nauseating stench of manufactured pop. It’s okay even for the self-confessed pop-snobs to like her, and that’s something she can only build on with her debut album Vows, expected later this year.
Kimbra’s collaboration with Miami Horror, ‘I Look To You’, is out now on Car W.S. Kimbra’s debut LP ‘Vows’ is out in late 2011.