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KIRBY’s ‘Sis.’ is authentic and modernly nostalgic: Album Review

Photo: Courtesy of the publicist
Photo: Courtesy of the publicist

Memphis-born, Mississippi-raised singer-songwriter KIRBY is no stranger to the hustle and grind needed to break into the industry. She began focusing on her songwriting career after dropping out of Berklee College of Music to write, record, and upload original songs to YouTube once a day every day. After two hundred seventy-five days she was picked up by Roc Nation and has since garnered a long list of achievements; as well as being the writer behind ‘FourFiveSeconds’ by Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney, ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ by Demi Lovato, ‘Die With You’ by Beyoncé, and ‘Break Your Heart Right Back’ by Ariana Grande.

The songstress’ decision to focus on her solo music wasn’t an easy one, and it didn’t work out overnight. “I left the mountain top of one career and went to the valley of another”, she explains. “But believe me, I see the mountain ahead. And it’s beautiful.” KIRBY doesn’t want you to hear her music, she wants you to taste it. Like a plate at Sunday dinner, KIRBY’s debut EP, ‘Sis.’ is undeniably satisfactory.

The refreshing seven-track Neo-soul project uplifts its listeners with buttery vocals, hypnotizing guitar rhythms, and pulsating basslines. Following the release of her lead single ‘We Don’t Funk’, the EP offers a healthy dose of 70s nostalgia blended seamlessly with the bold female empowerment themes of the new century that especially speak to women of color.

As much as I want all women to love this music, I need women of color to hear it and know certain narratives about us are simply not true… It’s what soul music sounds like when a woman falls in love and doesn’t give up her power, explains KIRBY of her new album.

The last three tracks, ‘Penny’, ‘We Don’t Funk’, and ‘Don’t Leave Your Girl’, are my personal favorites mostly because of the soulfully funky vibes they produce. Each song combines bass guitars, drums, synthesizers, and her Jazz-like vocals and harmonies to give it an authentic and modernly nostalgic feel.

It is safe to say that ‘Sis.’ firmly cements KIRBY as an artist in her own right, after years of crafting songs for the other stars of today. Keep up the great work, sis!


(Editor’s note: February 3, 2020, 11:10: PM EST) An earlier version of this article noted KIRBY founded The Miami Music Museum. The article was updated to reflect otherwise.


GRUNGECAKE

Written by Ashley Guerra