Song of the Day: KINS – Absblurd

photo by Eric Tra

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Absblurd” by KINS from the 2014 album Kins on East City Records.

KINS – Absblurd (MP3)

Led by the quivering, precise vocals and guitar work of singer Thomas Savage, KINS’ spacious, fascinatingly constructed indie rock is built like a sonic puzzle. Formed in Melbourne in 2010, Savage and (now-former) keyboardist Jaqueline Smith began constructing songs together, gaining momentum in their native country before relocating to Brighton, England. After losing their rhythm section in the process, the duo recruited drummer Alex Knight and bassist Rob Walters into the fold, who helped the band record the Dancing Back And Forth, Covered in Whipped Cream, which was released in May 2011. In late 2013, the band holed up to finish their debut album, which was released in early 2014, just in time for the band to join fellow Aussie Courtney Barnett for their first American tour. The band have said that the damp, isolated location of their recording space was a significant influence on their debut, and there may be no better example of this than “Absblurd”, the album’s slow-burning closer. Beginning with a brutal opening line (“Then give me your word/I never heard anything so absurd”) and sparsely arranged with only soft percussion and Savage’s voice for the first minute, the song begins building its tension early. After Savage’s last lyric (“there are no rules of thumb”), “Absblurd” begins picking up steam in its fourth minute when Knight begins incorporating some deft snare work over a bank of buzzing, melancholy keyboards. Although lacking the lyrical potency of the song’s first half, the second improves on it by slowly layering mournful tones on top of each other, conveying the loss Savage must have felt at the time in a way that words could never quite reach.

KINS were recently in Seattle but will be returning to North America in June. There hasn’t been any announcement of any West Coast plans as of yet, so keep an eye on their website and Facebook page to hear about any further announcements. Below, watch the band perform live on KEXP just last month.

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  1. Brandon Miller
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    wow, this song is so damn good. the last few minutes are just killer <3

  2. Sonic Purity
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    If you like swirly (power) pop/“shoe gaze” (how do blind people describe music that moves their souls and performers they cannot see gazing at footwear?) that My Bloody Valentine and others *wish* they’d made, you need this song in your life. Haunting, to the point where it kept me awake, then gushing with tears, then… well we won’t talk about that (Sue Is Fine).

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