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New Music Friday: Kinships

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Northants/London trio Kinships are Tom, Dave and Aoife, and they make the sort of soothing, trippy sounds that will make you sell up and start a revolution. Debut single proper ‘Splitting Hairs’ is out now, and New Boots could not be happier. Tom speaks…

How did you three get together to become Kinships?
Dave and I met a good few years ago, at a house party through mutual friends. We chatted and he ended up helping me with producing some music I’d been working on. After a couple of years we decided to work on some ideas together, a fusion of the sounds we were both interested in. Dave had known Aoife through the local scene in Northampton, and suggested our vocals could work well together, and that’s where stuff really started to click into place.

How would you describe your sound?
The sound is quite genre-shifting, marrying organic and electronic elements. Delicate vocals, pianos and guitars combined with drum machines, samples and synthesizers to create subtle songs that build.

Who are your main influences as a collective?
We would count artists like Caribou, Four Tet, Radiohead, The xx, Burial, RY X, The Cure, DJ Shadow and Massive Attack as inspiration. As a producer, David Wrench, who has mixed for FKA Twigs, Jungle and Caribou definitely influences how we think about interpreting the tracks on record.

It’s been a little bitty so far…couple of remixes released…the very occasional live show. Is it now all pistons to the pump?
I think we’re in a position now where we have a better understanding of our music, each other, and what we want to do. We’re working on so much material at the moment that hopefully we’ll look to back up this first release with some more new music soon. We’re just excited to be able to share what we’ve been working on now.

Tell us everything about this new song ‘Splitting Hairs’, and the EP that will follow.
‘Splitting Hairs’ is about the oppressive political climate in our country, post-Brexit. The lack of compassion and empathy in the governance and leadership that has repeatedly failed us, and the apathy and resignation that came with that. It starts quite gently around a simple piano progression, and has an outburst of emotion towards the end. Writing it was a cathartic process for me. The ‘Shapeshifter EP’ is a mix of ideas — lyrically and in style and production. The tracks aim to build tension and give moments of release. We’re staggering the EP release over the next few weeks, so we’ll be releasing a song every two weeks.

I take it the live shows are a lot more workable as a trio?
We have played a few shows as a trio, which works really nicely. The first show we ever played was at the Garibaldi Hotel as a foursome, with Adam Gammage on drums, which was a lot of fun. Depending on availability will be something we’d love to do more of in the future.

What’s your take on the Northants scene?
The Northamptonshire scene seems to be going very well, with some very talented bands and artists — shout outs to Sarpa Salpa, Ginger Snaps, [sane], Maddox Jones [who Dave produces], Burrowing Bees, L30 Robinson, Soul Groove, Cassini Circles, and many others!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I just bought Articulation, Rival Consoles new record. It’s an amazing piece of work.

What is your burning desire for Kinships to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We’ve another EP in the works to follow up Shapeshifter, and we’re looking forward to playing some shows when that’s possible. Honestly, we just want to keep making music that means something to us, and hopefully find an audience that connects with it too.

‘Splitting Hairs’ is out now on all digital platforms. The ‘Shapeshifter EP’ lands on September 18th.

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