Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Velour Recordings
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
With its haunting melodies and eclectic mix of sounds, Kaki King’s sixth full-length album, Glow, is a solid entry in the guitarist’s varied discography. Accompanied by famed string quartet ETHEL, King has crafted a beautiful instrumental album that puts her talent for folk music on full display. Glow is a true emotional ride. Tracks range from slow-burning to fast-paced, as King unrelentingly speeds through guitar strings with deftness.
Music is not a competition. Nonetheless, “points” must go to Kaki King for spinning this fully instrumental album into its own gorgeous realm of existence. The acoustic fingerwork is simply masterful, spellbinding; the string arrangements are exquisite and filling, soul-wise. This record generally begs your wine-soaked attention on any winsome November night of your choosing.
On Glow, guitarist Kaki King finally returns to the all-instrumental format that brought her notice and acclaim in the first place. This set, produced and engineered by D. James Goodwin, collects a dozen compositions for guitar and a colorful assortment of sidepersons that includes bagpipes and the ETHEL string trio, with violinist Patti Kilroy balancing them as a quartet.
The guitar, by design, does not cater to melody easily. Oh yes, plenty of people have made melodic statements on the guitar, you don’t have to look too hard for evidence of that. But rolling a languid line off of a fretboard is not the same as peeling it off of a flute or a keyboard. With that, many an instrumental icon have taken the guitar’s limitations and used them for what they’re worth.
The aftermath of a crisis has two outcomes. It can either break you down, or propel you outward, spawning a revitalization. For the Atlanta-bred guitar goddess Kaki King, who admittedly experienced an “existential crisis” after the release of her last, overzealous record, 2010’s Junior, the answer is the latter. With this year’s Glow, she excels in achieving lightness through simplicity.