Kirin J Callinan
Siberia Records/Terrible Records/XL Recordings
Callinan is a musician from Sidney, Australia, and this is his stunning US debut. He’s been performing in Australia for many years.
What sounds like a fusion of rock and electronica is actually processed guitars. This is a relief because processed guitars sound better and more natural than synths can ever sound. And while these are flowing, fluid, melodic guitar sounds, they’re also very hard guitars, pushing things toward the crunchier end of singer/songwriter rock. Alex Akers of the Melbourne, Australian duo Forces duets on “Halo” and his vocals add very good textures.
The lyrics, on the surface, come off as self-involved, but there is a fine line between self-aware and self-involved, and Callinan stays on the self-aware side. Self-involved singer/songwriters are a dime-a-dozen, but a consciously self-aware musician is not as common, which makes this album interesting, different, and even a bit original. This makes me cheer, because he stands out, and he throws in some gay content to put a fine point on things. https://www.facebook.com/KirinJCallinan