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...Until We Felt Red

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Album Review

Having established herself on her debut as an important new acoustic guitar voice, and having expanded the sonic palette on her second to include other instrumentation, Kaki King once again rethinks her approach from the ground up on number three. While there is still deft fingerstyle guitar to spare, more of King's picking is set inside of a greater context — percussion and light orchestration provide new universes for her to explore, and she revels in the experimental possibilities. Much of Until We Felt Red retains the lighter-than-air feel of the first two albums, Everybody Loves You and Legs to Make Us Longer, but King takes greater care here to fill the spaces with often unanticipated sounds and textures. Both electric guitars and electronics in general, and King's whispery sweet vocal — itself used more for coloring than to make important lyrical statements — also take a front-row seat here. But this is neither a singer/songwriter album nor an attempt to use technology for its own sake. Everything King brings to Until We Felt Red, produced by John McEntire, is in service of the composition, and if that means verging on improvisational jazz, or washing a melody in the quasi-baroque, as she does on "You Don't Have to Be Afraid," then so be it. The set-closing "Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers," with its thumped bass and slide guitar, veers toward funk with a touch of Nashville tossed in. But those seeking the imaginative, intricate acoustic playing that characterized King's earlier work need not, well, fret. Every track — notably "Ahuvati," "First Brain," "Second Brain," and the title track — is rich with gleaming guitaristry. What's different is that King, whose first notices came when she entertained New York subway riders, can no longer be described simply as a guitarist. From here on, she'll be watched as a complete artist.

Customer Reviews

Sounds like Kaki King!

One of the most distinctive and talented female guitarists, Kaki's new album does not disappoint. Her music is strangely similiar to artists like the album leaf or trace bundy, and she really shows her skill through her great guitar work. A must buy!


I love Tegan and Sara's triplet sibling 💘

Beautiful Genius

She's wonderful.


Born: August 24, 1979 in Marietta, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Kaki King's childhood passions were the drums and Brit-pop, and she figured if she ever made it big it would be because of her skills behind the kit. However, her musical talents didn't stop there: she also played the guitar, and though she learned Beatles and Fleetwood Mac songbooks, she found herself drawn to the styles of Preston Reed and Michael Hedges. Moving from Atlanta to New York to attend college, King got her first taste of solo guitar performance thanks to campus open-mike nights, and...
Full bio