Photo: Jackie Lee Young

Katy Kirby contemplates motherhood on the searching “Juniper”

With her debut album Cool Dry Place out in a month, Katy Kirby has shared another teaser before we get to hear the whole thing. Following on from the brilliance of “Traffic!” and “Cool Dry Place” comes “Juniper”, with Kirby giving us typically candid insight by saying:

“This is a song about motherhood, mostly. It sometimes seems like there’s far more material written on how dads can be terrifying and awful, or everyone is just less surprised about it. I’m uncommonly open and close with my mom, (and she’s asked several times if it’s about her — if you’re reading this Lisa, I swear, it’s not!!), but I was trying to work out how many distinct ways that sort of dynamic can uniquely harm. I wound up thinking a lot about vacancy, sort of how abandonment can happen even if someone technically sticks around. I heard Greta Gerwig say in an interview about Ladybird that “nobody doesn’t have a complicated relationship with their mother.” That feels pretty reasonable to me as far as super-broad statements go, and is maybe (probably) part of what scares me to death about raising a kid.” 

Opting for a rambling indie sound full of beautifully interwoven melodies, Kirby comes at this sizeable topic with poise and grace. Singing sweetly through life lessons she’s learned and those she imagines passing on to a child, she remains lively despite their weight. Her seemingly symbiotic relationship with her band is in full effect on “Juniper”, with their undulating sound perfectly supporting Kirby’s tuneful musings, stopping and starting with her trails of thought, and carefully building iun complexity and volume as her thoughts get more knotted and her brow more furrowed. This ensures “Juniper” remains captivating, surprising and heartwarming right up to its boisterous finale.

Katy Kirby’s debut album Cool Dry Place arrives on February 19 via Keeled Scales. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.