For an album that’s been in the making for three and a half years, it’s hard to not expect Kimbra’s debut album, “Vows” to become an overly polished product and yes, it is polished, but the beauty, rawness and energy of her live performance still shines through. In fact, listening to the opening vocal percussions of “Settle Down”, you can picture everything; from the way she moves to the sun going down at Meredith Music Festival.

But “Vows” goes a lot further than the opening song – the range and tone of Kimbra’s voice takes this album to places that surpass the realms of a generic pop album. There’s honesty that fills the corners and depth in the songwriting coming from a broader influence. It’s not a party album as one would expect, but a jazz and soul infused piece of art that tells a delicate story.

The skills of François Tétaz (Bertie Blackman, Gotye) make their way to the surface in “Good Intent” and the Nina Simone cover “Plain Gold Ring” where the production is very much comparable to Gotye himself. (This would explain how at ease she seems in “Somebody That I Used To Know”)

A real beauty in this album comes from “Wandering Limbs”, a duet with Melbourne musician, Sam Lawrence, which takes you on a journey of facing fears and riding a wave of spiritual elevation.

But it doesn’t stop there. Kimbra vulnerably finishes the album with “The Build Up” – a song that doesn’t seem like much to start but pulls at your heartstrings in an unequivocal build up to a dramatic ending that leaves you wanting more. If only it were actually an eight minute song…

Kimbra – Good Intent by viceroyalty

–       Natalie Foster

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