Something in the Way You Are

Kimbra is underrated. She deserves to be well-known as an innovative vocalist. She uses technology and her own vocal range to create a sensual wall-of-sound effect. She’s an example of the way the full range of digital technology can be used to make a very rich sound filled with layers and centered with heartfelt songwriting. Kimbra may be techie but she’s also, deep down in her bones, an earnest girl who like to write about love a lot. She could easily give many of her songs an acoustic makeover and play them in coffeeshops. That just shows that it’s a damn shame that so many writers of intimate songs are content to just stick with the piano-and-guitar format.

Settle Down

Kimbra wrote this song when she was sixteen years old. (And recorded it as an adult, thankfully.) In the video she represents her settle-down-wanting little self as a girl much younger than sixteen, which I think implies that the fantasy of white-picket-fence domesticity is something only a complete naif would fall for. If you’re the type of little girl who dreams up names for hypothetical future children while still playing with dolls, you’ve got a lot of learning about the world to do, not least probably how to leave whatever cult you’re being raised in. The broader implication here, I think, is that childhood dreams very frequently go up in flames, and that it’s sometimes for the best that they do.