Spotlight

Kinski

“…a hurricane of iridescent feedback, Kraut-rock drone and rolling thunder.” – Rolling Stone

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It’s been a few years since Kinski’s last album came out. They know that. Kinski also knows they could have stopped making music a long time ago, but they still have a lot to say. “We could have easily stopped,” said guitarist Chris Martin, speaking about the five-year gap between albums he made with Lucy Atkinson, Matthew Reid-Schwartz and Barrett Wilke. “But it felt wrong to quit. We wanted to keep doing it somehow. To keep going and keep making vital, great music.” Their upcoming release Cosy Moments due out in April 2013 on Kill Rock Stars is just that: Vital and great.The album is filled with the glistening, graceful chords and heavy proto-punk rhythms that have become Kinski’s hallmarks over the last 14 years of playing music together. Not that the band is walking in their own musical footprints on the new album. Instead, Cosy Moments is the result of Martin, the band’s songwriter, spending the last few years figuring out where to go next musically. “We wanted to make something more direct,” Martin said. “That was the kind of music I kept finding myself listening to and that’s what we tried to do. I was getting tired of hearing people step on wah pedals and solo over psych rock. There were so many people doing that, including us. We’ve always had poppy, song-ish elements but we took them further this time.”

To build the complex layers of sound on the album, Martin changed up the way he wrote the songs, leaving behind the pedals, amps and tones he would play around with while drafting songs and instead sticking to more traditional songwriting techniques. The result of his efforts are songs crafted on a solid framework, with each song reaching higher and higher through complex layers of crisp guitar arpeggios, pounding percussion and fleeting ethereal moments that are a far cry from Kinski’s earlier fuzzed out psych-metal work. The addition of a pop element is not the only evolution of the band’s sound. This album also features vocals, a shift for a band known primarily as an instrumental group. “While we’ve always had one or two songs with vocals on past albums, this one seemed to call for more.” Martin said of the process, “I wrote a bunch of new songs – even toured with some of them, but we ended up throwing most of them out. And I just kept writing.” Martin wrote for three years before having enough material to record an album and heading back into the studio with producer Randall Dunn, who also recorded their last two records. Cosy Moments, the group’s sixth full length, is filled with Kinski’s dense, intricate and occasionally deafening compositions, a musical style that both lives up to and upends their album title. But even the band isn’t quite sure why they named the album Cosy Moments — a reference to a P.G. Wodehouse book “Psmith, Journalist” about a guy who is an editor of a leftist magazine called Cosy Moments. “I don’t know,” Martin said, “It just seemed to fit. The history of this record was anything but cozy. But we came back together and are playing as well as we ever have.”