Danique van Kesteren

Robin Kester’s “Shape Memory” is a meditation on psychology and physics

The origin story of Robin Kester‘s new single “Shape Memory” is a tale of psychology and physics. More specifically, how Kester’s dealings with ADHD are temporarily abated by medication – yet when under intense heat, your mind spirals right back into its original state. This is acutely expressed in the track’s lush dreampop stylings: the pace slows down, as Kester affirms in her ghostly, Beth Gibbons-esque voice: “Something’s alive/And it wants to stay”.

“I stripped the song down to just the bas line and that sparked something,” Kester comments. “Eventually, this resulted in a brand new song. I wrote “Shape Memory” while I was worried about the side effects of ADHD medication and reading about the Shape Memory Effect: how certain types of metal bend back to their original shape when heated. Like paper clips made of nitinol: you can straighten them, but when you heat them, they will go back to their original shape. I felt connected to that paperclip; bent out of my original shape by the medication, but would then immediately return to my former self when not taken.”

This year, Kester has been recording the follow-up to debut LP Honeycomb Shades with Ali Chant (Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey) in Bristol – we reckon we’ll hear more details on that particular project soon.

For now, stream “Shape Memory” and watch the lyric visualizer, made by Ashleigh Brennan, below.

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