Kimbra: 1. Goddess 2. Musician 3. Artist 4. Fashionista. Many words can describe this eclectic artist from New Zealand. Of course you may know her as the female counterpart on Gotye’s smash burn anthem, “Somebody I Used To Know” but this is just the tip of the iceberg of what she has to offer musically.
Kimbra entered, banging her tambourine which immediately grabbed the crowd’s attention as the dramatic orchestral strings announced her arrival. “I like Marvin Gaye, gospel music and soul” she commanded in a get-up that looked like a 6 year olds’ interpretation of Little Bow Peep , splattered with vibrant purple and neon greens. The thing is, she completely pulls off the look with her exuberant nature.
Evident in her lyrics and her delivery is her diverse style. Drawing from jazz, soul, pop and that sweet indie alternative sound, it’s hard to pigeonhole Kimbra. Vocally, her soft spoken delivery is as sweet as Texas tea only to be interrupted at a moment’s notice by a powerful growl at the top of her range. Even when she goes out of her comfort zone, her off notes are still on somehow.
Kimbra knocked song after song out of the park, which let her material do all the talking. When she came to bright and sunny “Warrior,” her track with Mark Foster (Foster the People) and DJ A-Trak, the crowd immediately burst into splendor. This song only perpetuates her multifarious style. Kimbra is never stagnant on stage, shimmying this and that way in front of her colorful psychedelic background and, also worth noting, having a blast with her band. You can tell that she legitimately enjoys doing exactly what she’s doing and the audience really responded.
“Settle Down,” a crowd favorite (along with my own), started with her layering her own harmonies on her loop machine. On this particular song, Kimbra bares her vulnerability as well as her vocal chops. Kimbra delivered the first verse with only her looping machine, voice and band clapping before the chorus burst and the band came fully in. This all built to a brilliant send off, with Kimbra performing vocal acrobatics on the bridge.
If you’re interested in a complete show full of strange glances, soul wrenching vocals, odd outfits, musical ability and the epitome of entertainment, look up Kimbra’s next show in your area. You will not be disappointed.
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design