Funding one’s own debut album with fan donations may seem an extreme way of making life difficult for one’s self. But after listening to Kat Flint, you might well succumb to the overwhelming urge to thrust some sterling in her direction. Her debut, Dirty Birds, is extraordinary.
Opening track Go Faster Stripes shows off her delicate and pristine vocals. Anyone unawares as to her Aberdeen origins could be forgiven for thinking the red haired beauty was from across the pond; her style has that American singer-songwriter twang to it, with a low, brooding voice underpinning twinkly harmonies.
Even as part of that singer-songwriter tradition, Flint is not characteristic of such a definition. Her well constructed melodies, folky strumming and deeply thoughtful lyrics, combined with her charm and use of unusual yet interesting instruments, make her a cut above. Who else would use a kazoo in a chorus (Anticlimax)?
Female solo artists can at times sound repetitive, with similar beats and instruments, but Flint’s music is a rich tapestry of tempo and tune. She bears superficial comparison with Laura Marling, though she’s been around longer. But she has her own assured voice and style.
Just short of an hour, Dirty Birds intrigues, pulling the listener along in an urge to discover where the next track will lead. It’s a wholly involved journey.
Christopher You’re A Soldier Now has a marching rhythm to which toes can’t help but tap, while The Blinking is mellower, with a muffled conversation played over the singing. Especially exquisite is Shotgun Wedding, guitar and glocks strumming and striking under Flint’s creamy vocals.
This gem of an album, like the cliched fine wine, needs time to mature and be fully appreciated, and is not to be taken lightly. Give it some alone time and immerse yourself in it, without any outside distractions, and realise just how special Dirty Birds is.