Katy Kirby examines the relationship between mother and child on Juniper. Released as a single, the indie rock track is part of the artist’s forthcoming debut LP Cool Dry Place out end of this week. The singer and guitarist grew up in Texas and her warm hazy melodies reflect the warmth of the countryside – chords flowing off her hand like bedsheets drying in the summer air of the heat-dry backyard.

The only two and a half minutes of Juniper condense the essence of Katy Kirby’s songwriting skill. It opens on twangy guitars, features a distinct hook that will leave you humming for the rest of the day, and is topped by the singer’s soft vocal timbre. Filled with a myriad of tiny licks and melodic treats, the song unfolds over several listens. Katy Kirby finds inspiration for her lyrics in nature; the “true blue Juniper” which does not need a gardener to know in which way its blossoms are going to grow. “This is a song about motherhood, mostly,” she explains.

“It sometimes seems like there’s far more material written on how dads can be terrifying and awful, or everyone is just less surprised about it. I’m uncommonly open and close with my mom, (and she’s asked several times if it’s about her — if you’re reading this Lisa, I swear, it’s not!!), but I was trying to work out how many distinct ways that sort of dynamic can uniquely harm. I wound up thinking a lot about vacancy, sort of how abandonment can happen even if someone technically sticks around. I heard Greta Gerwig say in an interview about Ladybird that “nobody doesn’t have a complicated relationship with their mother.” That feels pretty reasonable to me as far as super-broad statements go, and is maybe (probably) part of what scares me to death about raising a kid.”

Make sure you also don’t miss the great acoustic version Katy recorded exclusively for us on our Instagram.


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Interested in the best new music, handpicked by your favourite music blog? Awesome! Because every Monday we’re updating the 50-track-strong Listen AHEAD Playlist on Spotify, adding ten strong songs by sill relatively unknown artists at its beginning. This week’s new picks also include fresh songs from Belle Tower, Georgie, Roller Derby, CIEL, Sacropolis and Francis Of Delirium – who we also recently interviewed. Follow the playlist right here on Spotify and give these new talents a chance.