Radio BurgerFuel

Interview: Kimbra

Posted by Lee Densem


It's been almost four years since Kimbra's last album 'The Golden Echo' hit our ears. The first glimpses of 'Primal Heart' revealed a slightly different side to Kimbra, so Radio BurgerFuel's Lee Densem caught up with her to find out where this new sound came from.

As the other body in Gotye's Somebody That I Used Know, Kimbra Lee Johnson of Hamilton, New Zealand suddenly had the whole world's attention. Shortly afterwards, her debut album 'Vows' dropped and Kimbra started picking up awards left, right and centre. Her sophmore effort followed in 2014, but in all it's sonic beauty it never reached the heights that perhaps Kimbra herself would have hoped. In this modern streaming service-filled world, four years between albums seems like an eternity. But finally the fruits of her labour are here for everyone to listen to. Her third album and first feature-length release since 2014 is upon us and started to make waves when it was announced that Skrillex was one of the people that had a hand in the making of it. In her own words "the Primal Heart is full of both fear and self-preservation like an animal, but there is also a longing to transcend and evolve.”

"I learned to say more with less this time and I feel like it’s the most personal I’ve been in my songs"

RADIO BURGERFUEL: Oh hi Kimbra, welcome back!

KIMBRA: Thank you!

So what’s been happening since The Golden Echo, because that’s almost 4 years ago?

I moved to New York (from LA), I travelled twice to Ethiopia, road tripped across America & I made a new album! It’s been a huge time of growth, I also set up a studio in my house in New York which really personalized the whole process.

Where did you write the new album?

I wrote most of it in that studio at home! And I also wrote music in LA on my various trips over there.

You said in your letter to fans that this is your proudest work yet. Why is that?

I think I expressed myself in a more raw way than ever before, it’s a very soulful album that puts emotion before density. I learned to say more with less this time and I feel like it’s the most personal I’ve been in my songs.

"I met him at Coachella - we had mutual friends and all ended up jamming one night"

What was it like working with John Congleton (St Vincent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The War On Drugs)?

He really helped me find the courage to put my voice first on this record. He also gave me a lot of freedom to embrace my technical/ producer side while being honest with me when we needed to go back to basics and refocus. It was a really great learning experience.

You worked with Skrillex on the single Top Of The World. Have you wanted to work with him for a while?

We just became friends when I met him at Coachella and he invited to me his studio/apartment in downtown LA- we had mutual friends and all ended up jamming one night. We ended up making that beat that ended up turning into Top of The World [see video below]. My favorite collaborations are the ones that happen really organically like that.

How do you think you will feel when the new album is out in the world?

Ready to start the next!

Kimbra's album Primal Heart is due for release on 20/04/2018 via Warner Bros.