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iTunes Review

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Nate Kinsella brings an adventurous (if tortured) spirit to his solo vehicle, Birthmark. He moves away from the fractured para-punk of his cousins Tim and Mike toward a quirky strain of prog rock. His sophomore album, Antibodies, further develops his musical identity with nervous rhythms, disorienting sonic textures, and darkly introspective lyrics. Kinsella makes it all compelling thanks to the sheer imagination he brings to this project. Each track has its own distinctive feel, letting the album unfold in soundtrack-like fashion. Marimbas, woodwinds, and strings (sometimes distorted or played backward) add intriguing colors to the unsettling beats and sparse guitars that ground the tracks in vaguely pop/rock forms. The twitching “Shake Hands,” the somber “You Light Me Up,” and the dense, semi-psychedelic “Please Go Away” draw the listener into moody internal monologues sung by Kinsella in mostly subdued tones. The bleak mood pervading the album's first half starts to lift in later tracks like “Your Imperfections” (a love song of sorts to his wife) and “Big Man” (an intimation of self-forgiveness set to chiming guitars).

Customer Reviews

Pretty strong album

A strong album from Nate Kinsella, cousin of the Chicago Tim and Mike Kinsella of cap'n jazz/Joan of arc fame. This is a very smooth album, lots of good bass and computer stuff going on plus he has a calm manor of singing - nothing is forced so the result is pretty laid back. This actually reminds me of San Jacinto type Peter Gabriel in some ways. And that, I think, says a lot.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The solo project of Nate Kinsella, formerly of Joan of Arc, Make Believe, and Decembers Architects and cousin of brothers Mike and Tim Kinsella, Birthmark finds the multi-instrumentalist striking out on his own and trying to find his own sound. Textural and layered, the project initially started when Kinsella was attempting to write the score for a friend's film project. Years later, the songs would eventually transform into The Layer, the 2007 debut of the Birthmark moniker. Kinsella followed...
Full Bio
Antibodies, Birthmark
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Customer Ratings