Artist Spotlight

Review: Kinsey, “My Loneliest Debut”

No Comments 11 October 2015

Review: Kinsey, “My Loneliest Debut”

“These are fantastic, fun and dynamic songs that show Kinsey is more than a background player for other artists. My Loneliest Debut is a wonderful showcase for the start of a great solo career.”

Artist: Kinsey

Album: My Loneliest Debut

Genre: Pop

RIYL: Wilco, Neutral Milk Hotel, Cold War Kids

Kinsey - My Loneliest Debut

Nick Kinsey is someone you’re already familiar with, even if you don’t immediately recognize him as a solo artist. This critically-acclaimed drummer, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is a founding member of Elvis Perkins in Dearland and Diamond Doves; he’s also performed and recorded with My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver, Cold War Kids, A.A. Bondy, The Felice Brothers and many more. In other words, he sounds like he’s been doing this for a very long time, and those many musical influences and experiences have made their way into My Loneliest Debut, Kinsey’s first solo record.

Let’s get this out there right away - as expected, the percussion work on this album is tight. And I mean meticulously and perfectly laid out as the unyielding backbone of a truly ambitious pop rock record. It’s rare that lazy drumming ruins a well-written song, but it’s moments like these that remind you how much of a difference great drumming can elevate tracks from good to great. Beyond the stellar percussion work, however, Nick Kinsey has a very particular style that only accentuates the rest of the many talents he possesses; and there are many. His vocals cut like a laser, sharp and intentional without sounding over-rehearsed. This is where that natural rhythm assists with creating great timing and use of dynamics. This is a record that doesn’t utilize a lot of harmony, and that means his vocals stand firmly with a texture and style all his own.

Standouts include intriguing lead track “Wide Awake” which provides a great introduction to a confident, melodically driven artist exploring his unique sound. Then the killer, uptempo “Get Lost” makes a big impression, recalling the feel of Wilco and an intricately layered background with loads of character and texture. “Youth” is another tune that allows Kinsey to explore a more balladeer-like style and stretch himself vocally without losing the driving beat that personifies his best work on this record. “Defender” is a track that I really enjoyed as well, one that hints at a sparser, more soulful and deliberate delivery. It’s this direction that intrigues me the most.

There’s no doubt that Nick Kinsey possesses a wealth of experienced musical talent; and it’s evident that his work as a drummer and multi-instrumentalist have translated over to create a deep well for him to pull from when it comes to song structure. The biggest surprise is a strong, stylistic vocal performance that allows him to stretch himself even further. These are fantastic, fun and dynamic songs that show Kinsey is more than a background player for other artists. My Loneliest Debut is a wonderful showcase for the start of a great solo career.


 

Kinsey website: http://nickkinsey.com/

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