At 35 years old, Kaki King has already had a well-known and vast musical career. She’s known for being a sensational guitarist and using a variety of sounds in her work, which has led to match ups with musicians ranging from The Foo Fighters to Timbaland. Her eighth studio album, The Neck is a Bridge to the Body is more than just an album. It’s also the name of her live visual experience, focusing on a white, immobile guitar and a full complement of audio and visual multimedia facets. The album release acts as a soundtrack to the live show.
Every song on The Neck warrants its own full review. Each track has its own specific elements and are all wildly enticing to listen to. “Notes and Colours” is just one example of King’s ability to create something simple yet intricate and beautiful. Other tracks are hauntingly beautiful, such as “Trying to Speak II,” featuring ETHEL, an NYC string quartet.
“Anthropomorph” includes trumpets and maracas and a shift in speed. And for the video, King collaborated with visual artist Shantell Martin.
“Battle Is a Learning” takes on a harder sound as King loses the soft acoustic, plugs into an amp and turns the reverb and distortion way, way, up, until all sorts of sounds are bouncing off of each other and echoing to fade. Fittingly, the album ends with “We Did Not Make the Instrument, the Instrument Made Us.”
It can be difficult to find classy, cool, upbeat and relaxing music. Something that isn’t too hip, or too teenager, or too classical. But Kaki King has managed to strike this balance through her career, and it’s no different story for The Neck is a Bridge to the Body. And tacking on more creative elements has made this project even more impressive.