After a period in the studio working with original Vibrators member Pat Collier and media maverick Paul Kaye, the fiercely independent & quirky poppunk artist Kiria releases her debut album Radio & its lead single Jelly Baby.
Marrying sounds of the same city suburbs that inspired The Buzzcocks & Pistols with her own contemporary yet cheeky strain of British humour, Kiria (who writes all her own music & plays all the guitars on the album) creates a sound that boast huge both guitar hooks & attitude in abundance. A captivating combination that’s capable of bringing home a sound hijacked by the US for far too long. As a fan of timeless tunes, who holds little regard for transient trends of the day, Kiria admits many of her favourite artists had their heyday before her time.
Alongside punk’s brash canon, she cites Morrissey & Bowie as holding pride of place in the record collection, & also considers femme fatales like Marilyn & Marlene as formative influences.
It was Hendrix who inspired her to pick up a guitar at the age of 13 & this offered her an escape route from the North London housing estate she was raised on. By 17 she’d joined her first band Suck Baby Suck, but soon after formed her own all-girloutfit Friction before finally going it alone and recording her first solo material that reflects the full breadth of her influences.
On this debut album, released through her own Koochie Coo label, Kiria distils her diverse points of inspiration into 12 distinctive tracks. Lead single Jelly Baby showcases her knack for penning sweet pop melodies while the chilled reggae rhythms of And Another Thing stand as testament to her versatility. Then there’s All I Ever Want with its Cardigans-style chorus and Pick Me Up with its poignant lyric about lessons in life. Finally, reinforcing the point that she’s more than another pretty pop dolly, Live Sex on Stage is a raw & raucous cut, that sees Kiria duet with regular co-conspirator & comedian Paul Kaye.
As striking as the sonics are arresting, the kitsch visuals Kiria employs can be seen in a collection of music videos that include a series of online viral clips that see a titular six-foot Jelly Baby exploring London town & interacting with unsuspecting members of the public. There’s also Live Sex On Stage ’s bawdy punk performance clip (375,000 YouTube plays & counting) sits in stark contrast to the romantic imagery of Kiria wearing pink 50s prom dress in the
video of the bittersweet ballad Love Song. Kiria’s live performances are not just another rock show either & with audiences ranging from patrons of the BFI’s annual Lesbian & Gay Film Festival to an ll-ages crowd at the family-friendly Warborough Festival (where she & Jelly Baby entertained this summer) her stage shows are some testament to the universal power of true, timeless pop hooks.
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