Published Sep 30, 2014Kinnie Starr, a Canadian music veteran of over 20 years, has a lot to tell you in a lot of different ways on her new album, From Far Away. The Renaissance woman wrote, engineered, recorded and played every note on the record, and the results are an intimate glimpse into Starr's relationships with many subjects.
The stripped down intimacy is poignant from the start as lo-fi guitar accompanies Starr's emotionally shaky vocals into the forefront. This is also where the thick hip-hop inspired drum tracks are introduced; they remain present throughout the album and are the most indicative element of Starr's genre bending. Regardless of surrounding instrumentation, Starr finds a way of laying beats into all but a few songs.
Attribution Starr's ability to journey through differing musical landscapes to her unique voice; her Karen O cadence on the folksy title track "From Far Away" is starkly opposed by the subversive "Save Our Waters," on which she seems to channel M.I.A.'s twangy croon. Her versatility throughout is what makes this album extraordinary.
Along with attacking Canadian institutions that turn a blind eye to fracking and its effect on aboriginal communities, Starr also addresses female sexual identity with unapologetic fierceness on "Lady in the Streets." On "I Don't Love You," the broken chords and fingered notes complement the vulnerable vocal delivery as she falsely confirms to herself that she no longer loves someone.
On From Far Away, Starr has tackled and conquered modern and familiar genres with courage and accuracy, a feat made more impressive by her DIY approach to recording. (Aporia)