reviewed by Elysse Cloma
Sincerity is the debut album of up-and-coming Vancouver-based multidisciplinary artist Kimmortal. She’s won awards for her work in community-engaged arts, and her practice involves poetry, performance, music, and visual art. Written over the last 7 years, Sincerity is a community effort and a labour of love.
Reminiscent of India Arie’s Acoustic Soul, Sincerity can be described as “acoustic-indie-folk-soul-rap fusion”. It’s a mix of melodic, feel-good songs that reflect different facets of Kimmortal’s original style. Her acoustic-folk-soul style is most apparent in the melodies she crafts, particularly on songs like “Peace” and “Blue and Orange” on which she soulfully sings over subtle but well-stated accompaniment by a roster of local musicians on guitar, bass, drums, piano, strings, cajon, and auxiliary percussion.
Although the music sounds light and feel-good, the songs on Sincerity are heavy with Kimmortal’s lyricism. At times she’s a strong and convicted rapper, and at other times she’s a gentle acoustic soul artist with a milky voice. Regardless of the style through which they are being communicated, Kimmortal’s lyrics poignantly transform personal feelings into words. On “Divine” she sings “I went to you to catch my worth in your gaze,” in a melancholic tone, which perfectly captures the feeling of seeking love and acceptance from others. “Divine” also encapsulates some of the recurring themes on the album: self-reflection, self-love, and honesty.
The song that best encompasses the strengths and sensibilities of Kimmortal’s music is “Ancestral Clock (Boom Bop)”. Both sonically and lyrically powerful, it’s an anthem of sorts, which celebrates Kimmortal’s Filipino heritage and stands in as the perfect denouement for Sincerity.
Top Tracks: Divine; Ancestral Clock (Boom Bop)
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent)