Spending her early years gigging around her native New Zealand, it was only once Kimbra borrowed a small eight-track recorder from her school’s music department that her song writing blossomed in earnest. This new tool opened up a new perspective, leading to a flurry of tracks that featured her signature layered vocals, including the inkling that became single 'Settle Down'. Discovered at the tender age of 17, Kimbra relocated to Melbourne to follow her musical path.
Kimbra’s debut record Vows, three and-a-half years in the making, charts not only her growth and development musically over this time, but personally as well. Recorded and arranged at home as well as in various studios, it presents her unique worldview on life and love. Even at twenty-one years of age, Kimbra already possesses the maturity and musical sophistication of the mavericks she is so often compared to - from vocal legends Nina Simone and Jeff Buckley, to radicals the likes of Prince, and contemporary artists such as Björk and Janelle Monaé.
Kimbra self-produced Vows alongside Australian Urban export M-Phazes (Amerie, Pharoahe Monch) and the refined skills of François Tétaz (Bertie Blackman, Gotye); whose focus on imagery taught her to treat the album like a film.
Vows establishes Kimbra as a significant talent. A fresh, exciting voice in today’s music industry.
Limited Edition CD/DVD Digipack:
- includes all the Live at Sing Sing performances, and a poster
1. Settle Down
2. Cameo Lover
3. Two Way Street
4. Old Flame
5. Good Intent
6. Plain Gold Ring
7. Call Me
9. Wandering Limbs
11. The Build Up
DVD – Limited Edition Only
1 Good Intent Live at Sing Sing
2 Settle Down Live at Sing Sing
3 Two Way Street Live at Sing Sing
4 Plain Gold Ring Live at Sing Sing
5 Cameo Lover Live at Sing Sing
Echoing the experimental nature of recent collaborator Gotye, whose number one single "Somebody That I Used to Know" she stole the show on, New Zealand songstress Kimbra's debut album, Vows, is a schizophrenic affair that is almost impossible to pigeonhole. Effortlessly flitting from bubblegum pop starlet on the playful old-skool beats and '60s doo wop vocals of "Cameo Lover" to avant-garde banshee on the melancholic music box-inspired closer, "The Build Up," Kimbra's chameleon-like tendencies ensure that predictability is certainly never an issue on any one of its 12 genre-hopping tracks. Occasionally, this "cover all bases" approach lacks focus, but for the most part, Kimbra's invention is a marvel to behold, as her enchanting and swooping jazz-pop tones glide across a veritable feast of sounds, from the hypnotic double basslines and '30s show tune harmonies of "Good Intent"; to the plinky piano hooks and rhythmic R&B grooves of opener "Settle Down"; while a beautifully gothic take on "Plain Gold Ring" is one of the rare instances of a Nina Simone cover matching the original. It will be interesting to see if she decides to pursue a more streamlined direction in the future, but by threading its widely eclectic range of influences together in such an impressively cohesive manner, Vows suggests she might never need to. ~ Jon O'Brien
Entertainment Weekly (p.75) - "[F]resh and surprising, its genre leaps held together by Kimbra's pliant coo -- a remarkably expressive instrument that can evoke toughness, heartbreak and humor over the course of a single line." -- Grade: A
Billboard (p.32) - "[V]ibrant, with pumped-up hip-hop beats, gauzy neo-soul keyboards and '80s-style electro-pop touches..."
Q (Magazine) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Kimbra has created a sparkling, witty debut that hymns commitment at every turn. The songwriting and production throbs with the giddy thrill of the lovesick.."
Kimbra's voice is amazing, and this album is just as good. Definitely one of the best things i've ever bought. I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone. I do not regret buying it, and you'll never regret it either, it's been on repeat for ages, and I can't even describe to you how amazing it is, and how much you won't regret buying it.
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