The first thing I noticed about Kimbra when we spoke a few weeks ago was how fast she talks; like a gatling gun. We chatted for 15 minutes, but she spoke as many words as a normal person might say in 30 in an interview.
Kimbra was in Los Angeles when we spoke, rehearsing for her tour, which kicks off in San Francisco, at the Independent, on Oct. 20. Half of her traveling crew and band had made the trek from Australia for the rehearsals.
Catch Kimbra at the Independent Monday.
There are more than a dozen guest contributors on “The Golden Echo.” Did you ever have to turn down musicians who wanted to help you write or play on the record?
Yeah, there was a time toward the end of the record where I had literally tracked all the drums, and there were still other drummers I wanted to work with, like Thomas Burchin. … It was like, ‘I really want to get you … and mix some tracks.’ I remember feeling like, ‘I’d love to do another record (with bonus tracks).’ There’s so many great moments that didn’t make this record, and I do want to put them out. There’s a lot of people I’d like to bring back into the studio for the next record.
With fear that you’ll answer with words I don’t understand, where do you do you find your own visual style and fashion sense?
It’s part of the self-expression. It’s very deeply tied to the music. When I step out on stage to play a show, I want the fashion and the clothes to reflect the mood of the performance, so I try to anchor to that; “What’s the intention, what’s the mood I want to get across?” And then I find … the fashion I want to come out of that place.
The album cover is a particular thing. I wanted to get across a sense of infinite imagination and a portal into another world – a little bit of an old storybook feel. I was channeling that mood.
Do you ever feel a disconnect between “Kimbra” and “that girl who sings on the Gotye song?” The two aren’t really similar.
When I produce my own music, there’s a different palette of sounds that go with it, and I do a lot more vocal production and … layers. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t explore music more like “Somebody That I Used to Know” in the future… music that’s more intimate and stripped back. I think that (fans) still connect with this work, and, maybe the sound is different. Maybe the genres are different, or whatever. … I think a big part of fans connecting with the music is seeing it live. That really does change so much when you’re able to see the songs performed in front of you. They change a lot in that context.