Take into account all the absurd “musicians” who go about playing two guitar chords and referring to themselves as “singers.” If they ever had the opportunity to hear Kira Vollman‘s tremendously intricate miniature compositions, I think the fork in the road would point in the directions of “suicide” and “search for another vocation.” The experienced listeners will remember Vollman as the more unpredictable half of Non Credo alongside the equally talented Joe Berardi. She embodies the idea of a versatile creator. Virtuoso vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and, most importantly, a person with a terrific sense of humor with noir overtones.
In her home studio, Vollman, like many other artists in 2020-21, worked on the stories that would eventually form OutZeit The Geist when almost the entire globe was in lockdown. The fact that this is her first solo album is astounding. It’s utterly simplistic to call its quality “satisfying” without mentioning the artist’s technical skill, perfect arrangement, and masterful blending of wickedly funny lyrics. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a real cerebral workout with a soundtrack that travels over a wide range of styles and voice outfits. All painstakingly assembled by the vibrant individuality of this charming woman, who is crocheting while concealing a sharp knife.
“The songs are character driven narratives with the looseness of improv and the tightness of a control freak“. Self-explanatory press release prose written by Vollman, who also provides us with a lovely booklet that features her “anxiety doodles,” which were drawn concurrently with the recordings, to go with the music. The juxtaposition of all of these factors with the aroma of freshly printed paper in the booklet reminds us of the bygone era when records were bought and memorized, spinning them repeatedly while reading the lyrics to learn new details each time. A sentiment that is no longer common nowadays, but which we can relive due to this unexpected present.
Make no mistake, this is more for fans of Henry Cow and Art Bears than it is for people searching for the “development” of the traditional songwriter, in case that wasn’t plain enough.