Katy Kirby with Lutalo

Katy Kirby with Lutalo

Backroom concert

Must have valid photo ID to verify age (21+) and identity at the door.

This show is standing room only.

Event Door Time: August 3, 2023 – 7:00pm
Ticket Price: Advanced: $16 / Day of: $18  – Tickets available at Etix.com and Bell’s General Store

About the artist:

Katy Kirby is a songwriter and indie rock practitioner with an affinity for unspoken rules, misunderstanding, and boredom. She was born, raised, and homeschooled by two ex-cheerleaders in small-town Texas and started singing in church, amidst the pasteurized-pop choruses of evangelical worship, about which she shares acute perceptions.

Like many bible belt late-millennials, Katy grew up on a strict diet of this dependably uncool genre. She recalls, “In the mid-90s, the American evangelical church was making music of an extraordinarily digestible, almost unprecedentedly easy-listening kind, stylistically void and vaguely dubbed Christian Contemporary Music, or CCM. It was pop that wasn’t quite pop, determinedly hanging on to the openhearted melodies of a decade prior, straightforward so as to be easily memorable, and in a key that an average churchgoer could sing along to.”

Accordingly, Cool Dry Place finds her dismantling it. “I can hear myself negotiating with that worship-ish music, fighting that deeply internalized impulse to make things that are super pleasant or approachable.” She hasn’t fully overcome the itch to please, but to a listener’s benefit. Instead of eradicating the pop sensibilities of her past, she warps them, lacing sugary hooks with sneaky, virulent rage, twisting affectionate tones into matter-of-fact reproach, and planting seemingly serene melodies with sonic jabs. The fun is in the clash.

Introduced to music via the African drumming classes their parents took them to as a child, Lutalo didn’t have the desire to fully participate but the complex rhythms, like musical puzzle pieces, fascinated them, teaching lessons about the importance of practice and dedication, the morning classes continuing at home, reverberating long into the night. Home is also where Lutalo’s Dad educated them on the Black experience in America through music, via a love of hip-hop, jazz, and Bossanova; from MF Doom to A Tribe Called Quest.

However, it was during a high school summer music program at McNally Smith School of Music that Lutalo’s own work began to blossom. Here, they met fellow musicians Patrick Hintz and Mike Kota and quickly started a band together, with Patrick quickly teaching them how to make connections, book shows, and produce their own merch, breaking down walls Lutalo assumed would prevent them from ever progressing out of the basement. Lutalo soon started other projects as a way of working on and highlighting their ideas and the production skills they were learning. Though they’d initially planned to produce work for other people, it quickly turned into the eponymous project we hear today.

A fascinating mixture of folk, rock, and soul, the EP is deliberately fluid, Lutalo allowing the framework to be as loose and wide-ranging as the work led. “The vision I have for this project is not so much genre-based as it is sound-based,” Lutalo expands, “and that sound is just a reflection of me. I didn’t want any boundaries because I’m not trying to replicate anything that’s come before. I only want to be adding to music in some way, I don’t feel like being an emulator.”

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