by Dan O
Contradicting yourself is inevitable when talking about music. Our moods and how they interact with the vision and results of an album are always forming an individual mixture based on where both are at. I spend a lot of time talking about movement in music. I don’t want sludgy inertia putting me to sleep on the bus so I miss my stop. What I love most about It Was A Home by Kaina is, with notable successful exceptions, it’s the kind of meditative Soul music that freezes time. Put your feet up after a long shift music.
I recall in 2012 trying to tell everyone to listen to Home Again by Michael Kiwanuka and a healthy subset telling me it was boring. Not enough movement, static. So what is the difference between meditative and boring? 1. The voice-Kaina has a big powerful voice but doesn’t push for the high notes. An easy confidence runs through each second. 2. That voice to you has to feel authentic in its search for quiet space. Some artists have used a lack of movement in their music to command space without much to say. As a listener I know I’m always on lookout for this because I just don’t want to waste time looking for more when more is not there.
It Was A Home is about love and radiates with a natural warmth. Whether it’s the Stevie Wonder song Come Back as a Flower or the single Anybody Can Be in Love the groove gets established at a pace that massages the tense muscles of your mood. The exceptions are notable: Ultraviolet with Sleater Kinney utilizes all the muscular guitar you want from the legendary rock group with stadium sized hand claps and an earworm chorus. Apple is a straight up dance song you can groove with your three year old to. It only makes sense that Helado Negro (another master of meditative music) pulls in on the song Blue. Within the first forty seconds were talking about the sun in ways you just don’t get elsewhere “but the sun goes down at 3 and we watch the earth slowly…go…blue so blue, in the morning we don’t see, blue so blue, until we go back to sleep.”
Kaina has given 2022 music the perfect palate cleanser. When your tired of feeling the rat race in your bloodstream and want the music to clear space for you this album will. I liked Kaina’s album Next To The Sun released in 2019 (to positive reviews) but I did wonder when it came out if she could push it further. More diverse yet more concentrated and it all led here. If you can listen to the title track and cannot immediately find a place for this album, it’s not for you and that’s ok. It Was A Home is that mixture of personal, reflective, sincere, and radiant that I always need. The darkness in my collection will eat me alive if I don’t have journeys like this that let the sun in.
Stream then purchase It Was A Home below: