"I really wanted to a create a gentle space."



Domino Kirke Talks Her First Full-Length Record, "Beyond Waves"

Domino Kirke is hungry for more and she’s not afraid to explore old wounds. She is determined to create works that are honest and rhythmic. Kirke’s folk soundscapes will leave you feeling light, while her lyrics draw into an intimate space. She’s not afraid of who she’s becoming and wants you along for the ride. We caught up to Kirke to discuss her new album, Beyond Waves, her growth as an artist, and what’s shaped her sound over the years; check the interview (and the full record) below. 

Well, first of all, congratulations on your recent engagement, your new album, and your recent video! How’re you feeling?

Thanks, it feels great! It feels like it’s all sort of hitting at once. I feel like I’ve been ready for this, but everyday I get closer to the release I’m more and more excited. It’s just riding the wave right now.

Good! And what do you mean by feeling ready for this?

Well, I guess the record took a little while to make. It had a few different versions and for the record to be done it was a bit of a release.

And how do you think you’ve developed as an artist from your initial EP, Everything Else is Boring, all the way to Beyond Waves?

Well, I feel like this is a much more adult record. It’s my first LP, as a solo artist, and the songs are my own. With my first record in my first band, Domino, I was just the singer, the front woman. But I wasn’t writing the material. This was a very empowering time for me to say what I have to say and finally write the music I’ve been wanting to make.

With Beyond Waves, what are your trying to say to your audience? What are you trying to get across?

I don’t know. I think everyone is gonna take something different because they’re really such intimate songs. They’re so lyrical and specific to my upbringing and my life. There’s not a general vibe that everyone can catch on, you know what I mean?

These are some vignettes of my life. Each song felt like I was ripping a page out of a journal entry. So, I sort of knew people would really listen, take it in, and understand what I’m saying in the lyrics. And some people may, as we do with music, just breeze through the songs and decide if they thought they were pretty or not, you know?  It’s definitely a very pretty record. People who play music really enjoy the musicality of the record. But friends of mine, who don’t play music and are just listeners, have said how they like how close I feel.

Totally. I actually really appreciate the intimacy that you have in your music. From “Half Blood” alone, in the video, I got all the feels. What compels you to be so vulnerable and share the narratives you have, especially with regards to “Half Blood?”  

I sort of have nothing to lose. This is who I am and this is how I imagined my art would take shape. I mean, maybe I’ll make that record one day that’s full of pop songs and I’ll dress differently and become a persona. For now, it’s really about self-investigation and exploration. There are so many things with other records that I really don’t mind people see me on this journey. I’m fine with it, I’ve always been like that, anyways.

Well, with that self-exploration, is there something you specifically want to find out about yourself or something you want in your future?  

I guess there’s a part of me that really want’s to put a part of my child self and my young adulthood to bed. Becoming a mother in my mid-twenties and putting my music on hold was pretty intense for me. It was a bump in the road, by any means, but it was definitely an unexpected turn in my life. It’s like a send off. It’s commissioned to close a chapter. I feel like, from here, it’ll only deepen. Maybe the next record will be a bit more light hearted, a little more fun loving, I don’t know. I guess, I needed to get this record out of my system.

That’s cool, very cathartic, even. And how did you shape your sound for this record? Because some of your work is very rhythmic and folks-y while others are more haunting. What is your process for creating that sound?

I don’t know, it all came together on its own. Luke Temple, who wrote the record with me, and the guy from my band who first laid down the tracks, were responsible for the vibe. The way Luke writes is very lush. We wanted to make more of a very lush, very rich acoustic record. And once I brought in electric guitars it took on another shape. We really wanted to make a very beautiful record. Each song took on its own thing after we made our decision. But I knew nothing was ever going to be too loud. I knew I wanted gonna speak sing and not over-sing, if that makes sense? I really wanted to a create a gentle space.

What inspired you when creating this record in addition to your past, in addition to wanting that cathartic experience?

I just knew I was ready to make a full-length record. That was sort of a looming thing in my adult life. When making my first full length record, I put it off and avoided it. I was very much afraid of finishing that project. Really wanting to complete it and focus my life back to music instead of the other work I’ve been doing.

Well I commend you on your persistence and self-motivation because it’s really hard to finish a project. And do you have any advice for any other creatives who feel like they’ve been in a similar situation?

I mean, It’s about the follow through. Really making the decision and cuffing out the time.

For me, it was a time management thing. We all have other job and our own families. Very rarely we’re in our 20s with no kids or no partner. When I was younger I had nothing but time and all I did was poke fun.I had too much time so nothing ever got finished. This time I feel like I was able to finish the record in my 30s with an eight year old kid because of the little amount of time I knew I had to do it. It was about committing, following through, and really managing the time around it. Some people work best doing a little bit every day. For me, I needed to go away to get it done. That was just my preference.

Featured image courtesy of Domino Kirke

Stay tuned to Milk for more dreamy soundscapes.

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