Out Artists on the Rise

Kaki King

Kaki King is an “out, loud and proud lesbian” up-and-coming indie guitar player. Although she is out, King wants her music to speak for itself. “Liking a musician just because they’re gay is ultimately a superficial reason,” she says. “It’s like buying a record because a singer is dating some Hollywood star.” King (her first name is pronounced “khaki”) grew up in Atlanta and attended a Christian high school with “a really Stepford Wives kind of vibe,” so quite naturally she hid her feelings about women. At college, she was finally comfortable enough to fully embrace her sexuality.

King’s first two albums were purely acoustic guitar, which gained her a reputation as a “zeit-girl” of the instrumental. This image is going to change when her new release Until We Felt Red hits the stores on August 8th. With this CD, King reveals her vocal talent and her artistry on the electric guitar for the first time. “I was being limited by my choice of instrumentation,” she explains of the change. “I was eager to break away from the limitations of acoustic guitar and to do larger songs with bigger instrumentation and sounds.”

On Until We Felt Red, King uses her soft, delicate voice to touch on intense topics such as nuclear warfare to her first affair, while revealing wit and irreverence on tracks like “Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers.” The artist varies techniques on the electric guitar, alternating between harsh, riveting wails and more subdued tones. Like the artist herself, the sound is both dark and whimsical. Strings are plucked in alternating soft and forceful ways. When the tempo rises she is accompanied by heavy percussion and techno sounds. Of the song “Yellowcake,” King comments, “The irony is that to a lot of people, [the song] sounds light and happy and feminine, but it’s actually so weird and so dark.”

King will be touring the US during the summer and fall. Check myspace.com/kakiking for more details.