Katy Kirby Explores First Queer Relationship in New Album 'Blue Raspberry'

Published January 25, 2024

Emerging from Brooklyn, indie singer-songwriter Katy Kirby presents her second studio album titled 'Blue Raspberry', a profound reflection on her inaugural queer relationship. After a journey that started with singing in evangelical worship in her quaint Texas hometown, and transitioned to songwriting in Nashville which led to the creation of two albums, Kirby has come into her own with this latest work.

Evocative Vocal Talent and Musical Evolution

Kirby's remarkable vocal clarity, reminiscent of her early gospel-infused performances, weaves through 'Blue Raspberry' with matured elegance. Her southern religious roots still echo in her musical style, with touches of acoustic guitars and traditional drumbeats grounding her sound. However, Kirby's evolution as an artist is undeniable as she shifts to a more deliberate and contemplative pace compared to her debut's playful vibes in 'Cool Dry Place'.

A Personal and Musical Journey into Queerness

'Blue Raspberry' serves as an aural canvas, capturing the intimate minutiae of Kirby's queer relationship. The album's instrumentation has blossomed, now featuring an orchestral array that elevates her narrative. Each lyric is meticulously composed to draw attention to heartfelt nuances of her partner's efforts to impress, a resonance uniquely perceived by women towards other women.

In tracks like 'Salt Crystal', the affectionate gaze of Kirby's songwriting shines through. As she appreciates her partner's aesthetic choices against the backdrop of simple piano notes and string arrangements, listeners are drawn into a tender, personal space. Through her music, Kirby utilizes vivid imagery of both shiny things and artificial sweet flavors as symbols—blue raspberry being a favored and relevant metaphor to convey the allure of fabricated yet beautiful connections.

Embracing Artifice and Authenticity

The theme of artificial's appeal is central to Kirby's reflection on love, as she celebrates her partner's deliberate choices through song. The recurring query in her music, 'Why wouldn't that be enough?' challenges the listener to ponder the value of authenticity versus chosen representations of self and love.

The narrative arc of the album paints a complete picture, tracing the trajectory of a relationship from its captivating beginnings to its eventual dissolution. Kirby offers raw moments of realization like in 'Wait Listen', and the poignantly captured farewell of a single-take song 'Alexandria'.

A Connection to Spiritual Origins

Kirby's closing track 'Table' serves as an homage to her spiritual beginnings, binding her present musical exploration to her past. The song's biblical echoes and the corresponding music video's imagery provide a powerful metaphorical conclusion to the album.

Despite some tracks like 'Redemption Arc' and 'Hand to Hand' which may mildly lose momentum, 'Blue Raspberry' overall stands as a heartfelt and beautifully crafted testament to Katy Kirby's first experience with queer love.

Brooklyn, indie, queer