Throughout my long and (self-ascribed) prodigious music listening career (aka “Most of my formative life), there are a handful of bands/acts of which I fostered a near instantaneous fondness toward upon first listen.
Some of those artists I was instantly fond of were Cat Power, Father John Misty, Barbara Mandrell, Timber Timbre, Lee Fields & The Expressions - not necessarily the most common grouping of artists, but some of my personal favorites nonetheless.
In an effort for total transparency, I should let you know that I was planning on concocting some sort of clever and/or cutesy nickname for those artists of whom I developed an immediate predilection for, but I figure it best to avoid calling them something like “insta-faves” (yuck!) and cut to the chase - such a precarious lede serves a purpose, believe it or not.
Now/It’s has the distinct privilege of premiering another act that would qualify as one of my new instant favorites in town, and more than likely, soon to be yours too - Sister Kit. Admittedly, I’ve only seen Sister Kit live once - at The East Room back in Fall or 2017, sharing a bill with Summer Palace and Big Surr - but that show alone was qualification enough to produce an inclination to hear what comes next.
Well, what comes next is now, as Sister Kit has shared an exceptional single off their upcoming EP, Swimming Lessons, “No Fun.”
Somewhere between lo-fi meets western phantasm meets 90s era singer songwriter, “No Fun” is the song that keeps on giving. It's a love song the warrants repeated listening. Seriously, each spin reveals a different layer of nuance and intrigue after the next (insert questionable Shrek “onion” quote here). That’s ultimately a testament to the collective that brought the single into fruition.
Fronting the song, Abby Clark manages to run the gauntlet of indie rock misdirection with some subdued and dulcet crooning about leaving a relationship too soon for fear of “loving someone new,” only to rip into some stormy vocal runs at the song’s end that would put Angel Olsen to shame.
Despite referencing the indie rock godhead, Sister Kit is a welcomed departure from the dyed-in-wool indie rock approach that has become all too common as of late.
Credit to Clark’s supporting cast of Robbie Jackson, who provided some woozy guitar work in addition to Clark’s, as well as Abraham Fognaly (drums) and Parker Van Der Hyde (bass) for holding down a sort of lounge music meets slack rock groove. There’s a particular baritone melody that comes in during the chorus that serves as a direct appeal to my own Timber Timbre fandom, so let “No Fun” further support the notion that baritone sounds good on almost any track. I didn't notice that until a few repeat listens, further substantiating the repeat listening mandate.
But let’s not get carried away with baritone appeals or mandates of recurrent listening - as alluded to earlier, “No Fun” serves as an incredibly dynamic, worthwhile (somewhat) introduction to Sister Kit. Clark’s lyrical work provides a spectrum of emotion that is just as delightful as one would expect a song about falling in love once more would have, but the discerning - let’s call it the “Sister Kit of it all” - factor is that Clark avoids the overly saccharine pitfalls of writing about love. It's a song worth listening to, but I don't have to tell you that more than once. To borrow from a Raymond Carver title, “No Fun” is a song worth talking about when we talk about love songs.
“No Fun” credits -
Guitar/Vocals: Abby Clark
Guitar: Robbie Jackson
Drums: Abraham Fongnaly
Bass: Parker Van Der Hyde
Producer/Engineer/Mixing: Meg Settle
Mastering: Trevor Richardson
Sister Kit plays Musician's Corner on June 30th, at 3:30pm.
Photo Credit: Melanie Slappey