Released: 25th Jun, 2012
Label: Tru Thoughts
“Kinny Acoustic”, out 25th June, is a collection of three stripped back acoustic re-workings of songs from Kinny’s second solo LP, ‘Can’t Kill A Dame With Soul’, which came out in February 2012 on Tru Thoughts. The session was originally recorded for the BBC 6Music Funk & Soul Show, and aired as part of a special feature on Kinny, in April. Bringing a stunning fresh take on the songs, these three versions were met with such a positive response that they are now being released as a single.
“Kinny Acoustic” strips things back to the wire; with nobody but a guitarist for company Kinny’s mesmerising voice takes control, the loose, spontaneous arrangements and dynamic guitar work exposing layers of intrigue and atmosphere in the songs.
It has been a big year for Kinny; in addition to releasing her second solo LP, the much in-demand vocalist saw the culmination of her recent work with De La Soul’s Plug One and Plug Two, with the release of their high profile comeback album ‘First Serve’, on which she contributed featured vocals. She has also assembled a new live band to take her own show on the road, and will be performing several summer 2012 dates in the UK and Europe.
Kinny is an opera chanteuse turned singer-songwriter whose lifelong passion for reggae, jazz and soul music intertwines with her classical training for a unique and potent style. The ‘Can’t Kill A Dame With Soul’ album saw this self-proclaimed ‘freestyle improv vocalist’ channelling her trademark impulsive, freeform stylings into a more reflective set of deeply personal songs that explore struggles with mental and emotional instability and identity.
Kinny’s captivating power and range of vocal expression, her diverse cultural heritage (a mix of Jamaican, Native Canadian and Swedish), and the twists and turns her life has taken all feed into the music; and her richly emotive sound never shies away from a dancefloor-filling groove or a stream-of-consciousness lyrical flow.
Kinny – aka Canadian born, Norway based Caitlin Simpson – is one of a handful of standout female singers to have been nurtured and developed in the Tru Thoughts stable, alongside the likes of soul queen Alice Russell and Belleruche siren Kathrin deBoer. Her 2010 solo debut ‘Idle Forest Of Chit Chat’ – on which production was split between collaborators including Quantic, Nostalgia 77 and Hint – gained rave reviews and support from Craig Charles (BBC 6Music), Mark Lamarr (BBC Radio 2) and Daddy G (Massive Attack), and sparked more than the occasional comparison to luminaries including Erykah Badu. This time, on ‘Can’t Kill A Dame With Soul’ she worked exclusively with Souldrop, fellow residents of the vibrant musical town of Bergen, Norway. Creating music in one room with her production team, rather than across several international borders, made for a totally different recording experience, and it has been supported by DJ Mag, Clash, Don Letts (BBC 6Music) and more.
Lyrically, the issues Kinny battles on this album stem from her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a lifelong condition that came to overwhelm her: “All the tracks stem around my fear, pain and frustrations and how it has changed me.” With singing as her only respite, the visceral sense of a spiritual release – of music that just had to be made – permeates ‘Can’t Kill A Dame With Soul’. The album’s title references this strength and character within – the sense of Kinny – which keeps her keeping on.