Katy Kirby launches something new with ‘Cubic Zirconia’.
The songwriter has already caused a stir in the United States, blending aspects of folk, Americana, and indie rock with a ruthless sense of honestly. Brought up in an evangelical Christian family in a small town outside Austin, Texas, she’s since relocated to join the creative communities in Nashville.
Freshly signed to ANTI- Records, her debut album ‘Cool Dry Place’ landed earlier this year to huge acclaim. Keeping the fires burning, Katy has shared new song ‘Cubic Zirconia’, a track that has taken her four years to complete.
A fine example of her emotive songwriting, the track dwells on queer identity, love, and the narratives we build for ourselves. It’s also a neat vocal, with Katy Kirby’s twists and turns taking you on a real journey as she moves to that emphatic chorus.
I’ve been trying to write this song for nearly four years, but it only came into focus for me when I fell in love with a girl for the first time. It’s an attempt to say something that I don’t think I’m smart enough to articulate outside of the song – something about how much I admire when someone is unembarrassed of being explicit about the cosmetic and aesthetic choices they make for themselves. Why wouldn’t you love the little tricks of their trade – the way they wear makeup, the clothes and mannerisms that make them feel safest and most themselves – why wouldn’t these little tricks be the most endearing artefacts of their inner essence? If you loved someone, why would you not love those choices? It’s an honour to get that close to someone – close enough to see how they construct the image of themselves with which they move through the world as best they can (as we all do). Why wouldn’t that be enough?
Cubic Zirconia! A lab-grown diamond. A salute to whatever the world looks down on as “artificial” – even a defence of artifice. It seems like naturalness is not only a dangerously vague and subjective concept, but that whenever those concepts get invoked, the invoker is almost invariably being manipulative or even malicious. Insofar as the line between authentic/fake, natural/unnatural, organic/synthetic artificial/genuine is hopelessly thin. Insofar as it’s a line that shifts constantly and doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s interest except the people who’ve decided that they’re the most qualified to draw that line. What a useless concept. What an extremely suspicious concept to leverage in assessing someone’s worth. What a sanctimonious little scam!
Tune in now.
Photo Credit: Emma Montesi