Published Sep 21, 2016Kirty is an indie folk singer-songwriter originally from Orillia, ON but now based in Toronto. Her 2012 debut featured melancholic country-tinged songs, but she seems to have taken a slightly brighter direction since then. Her self-titled followup is a blend of vintage Arts & Crafts confection (Feist, Jason Collett) and the summery haze of Widowspeak or maybe even Mazzy Star.
Lead single "That's Not Me" has the sort of carefree, puppies-in-sunshine vibe of classic Springsteen, but with the dignity and composure it takes to end a claustrophobic relationship. One can easily envision Kirty breezily cycling away from an emotionally stunted ex's house, sad it's over perhaps, but relieved and free.
The arrangements colour in her songs quite prettily, with chiming glockenspiel, bright keys and expert electric guitar playing. Yet the understated hero in a lot of these songs (aside from Kirty herself) is the fun and groovy bass playing. You can hear it get particularly playful around 1:30 into "Letting You Down" or about 1:25 into "Velvet Mouth," and on the song "Temper," the simple but propulsive bass playing compels you to nod your head.
Ultimately, Kirty falls a bit short only in terms of having very much raw live energy. The bright and breezy sound works well in headphones, but it's hard to imagine being swept away at a live show. Still, the songs here are strong enough that it'd be interesting to hear a live session (Daytrotter, Audiotree, etc.) with her touring band.
Kirty is a step up for the musician, and will hopefully be but one of many more steps in her upwards trajectory as an artist. (Postwar Records)