On first listen Kin Capa’s single “Rye” is a fairly straight forward, shuffling blues rock ballad. Palm muted, clipped guitar riff, and a drum beat that sounds like it was tapped out by hand before translated to a minimal drum arrangement. The repeated lines echoing ever so slightly is like a hypnotic mantra rippling forth from some place in the subconscious mind. There’s just something slightly otherworldly about the track like there has been some phasing put on the guitar, the drum track and the vocals so the song sounds like it’s operating in some kind of mythical time and indeed the song is about the impending ecological collapse but also a hope for the survival of the human race if not for late capitalist civilization. The lyrics focus on the essential components of a future after modern civilization has fragmented and fallen under the weight of its own hubris and unsustainable economic model and the political systems perpetuating it that do little to address the so-called externalities that are outside the scope of the theoretical foundations of the ideas and principles of the world we know. And yet there is a jaunty quality to the song’s rhythm that finds some hope in the edifice of a corrupt and self-destructive civilization cracking and other opportunities for people to present themselves if only we can find a way to scramble out of the way of the fallout. The track is part one of nine of the forthcoming Kin Capa album THE AMERICAN OPERA: Act II. Listen to “Rye” on Spotify and follow Kin Capa at his website linked below.
The new KIN CAPA single “Queen of the ‘Niles” from The American Opera: Act II might be too clever for its own good. Couched in a sort of sound design production style, the song feels like an experience presented as much as well-crafted pop song with no short measure of creative ambition. The rousing choruses outline the various ways our civilization has failed to grow up (the “Queen of Juveniles”) and the multiple ways its been in denial about its direct role in the destruction of the planet and the consequences that have been crashing into our lives for more than a few years now while America and other world powers are busy telling themselves how great they are and that they can put off the impending disaster for some future date that never seems to come. Capa’s use of the diva, the kind that can’t be bothered with the petty, everyday concerns of “regular” people lacking extreme privilege, as metaphor for the attitude our societies take toward Mother Nature’s not so gentle warnings is brilliant and clever taking what could be a bluntly topical song about climate change to the level of art without blunting the message. Listen to “Queen of the ‘Niles” on Spotify and follow KIN CAPA at his website linked below.
For the interval phase of the upcoming KIN CAPA album, THE AMERICAN OPERA Act Two, Lee Capa wrote and recorded “Re-Cover-Re,” a song that sounds like a lot of pent up energy being held in check to feed back in on itself. The circular surging main riff ripples responsively to Capa’s vocals and the guitar sounds like it was recorded in a giant can with the sounds bouncing back to double the impression of feedback and, indeed, of a feedback loops. Also known as “The Scream,” this song includes a feral scream on both ends of the song as if the narrator of the larger story is burned by the feedback just a little. The title suggests the process of recovery through music with “re” being both the repetition and the second note in a major scale. Like actual recovery maybe you end up trying the same old tricks to get a fix of what gave you pleasure initially but now brings only pain, going at this music thing only to find yourself following familiar pathways rather than creative growth and being pained by how well you’ve trained yourself into musical complacency. But there is momentum behind the song in spite of its clever, recursive construction and that promises liberation from the stasis of artistic and personal stagnation and, given the name of the album, a social and even spiritual place of stale, outmoded and self-destructive patterns. Listen below on YouTube and look for the new album sometime this summer on the KIN CAPA website (link following song).
Lee Capa is a multi-instrumentalist and singer whose band Kin Capa recently released its debut album in March 2019. Titled The American Opera Act One, the record isn’t just a sampling of urban American experience with its complexities and challenges rendered with a spirit of yearning to comprehend one’s place in the great big mess while maintaining one’s passion and integrity. The song “Sum1” (listen below) caught my attention because it’s simply a great, jangle-y power pop song that takes some sonic chances with established form including an almost background guitar sound in lightly distorted phasing that gives the track a sense of disorientation but one in which one can let go and trust in one’s instincts and the impermanence of every situation in a fast-moving world to carry the day. The punchy percussion and Capa’s emotive quaver reinforces the perfect impression of bravery in the face of seemingly never-ending uncertainty. Fans of The Raspberries and Dave Edmunds may enjoy this one greatly. The American Opera Act Two is due in the summer. Visit kincapa.com to follow the band’s future adventures in imaginative, finely crafted pop.