The first single from Melon Soup, “Human”, brings another creative high for its composer and performer Kirbie. Kirbie Rose Parker is based out of the Washington D.C. area and has been working at her art for the last nine years in an effort to build and expand on her audience. The discipline and hard work required have paid off with a fully integrated effort that works both musically and lyrically. The production highlights her highly individual blend of multiple genres and lays a thoughtful songwriting sensibility over it all that never panders to her target audience. One never gets the sense that Kirbie is confining herself to a narrow swath of the listening public. Instead, “Human” seems aimed for anyone who’s experienced their own frailty and consistently asks the big questions that each of us seeks answers for over the course of our lives. This immensely relatable subject matter and the fine musical accompaniment make this performance a winner from the outset.
Everything begins, however, with Kirbie’s vocal. She comes in early and stamps her presence deep into the song with warm, even sultry, phrasing capable of tempering the thorniest patches. Her voice is tailor made for the musical backing and dovetails well into the interplay between the drumming and keyboard work while still maintaining her position as the song’s guiding musical force. Kirbie further distinguishes herself for being a vocalist that pays close attention to the material – rather than juxtaposing her voice against the song, she wants to play with the musicians and use her voice as it’s intended. She has a marvelous musical instrument, natural, with her voice alone. It’s lovely, as well, to hear how her voice picks up and relaxes with the various swells of emotion punctuating the lyric content. Kirbie is a clear and lucid writer who examines themes with a minimum amount of verbiage. Much like the musical backing, there isn’t a single wasted or extraneous word in the song’s text and Kirbie makes as much as she can of its brevity.
The same focus is in play through the music. There’s a small plethora of instruments used to fully flesh out “Human”, but they are expertly tied together in a melodic and highly musical dance that captures the listener’s attention and never lets go. The atmospheric opening, wide swinging drums with some tasty echo laid over their sound, sets an early tone and nothing that follows indicates this interest in finding a strong groove is misplaced. “Human” has a deep groove, but the melodic virtues mentioned earlier gives the groove more meaning than it might otherwise possess. The easy movement of the song suggests the performance is captured live to recording, but even if this isn’t true, the fact they exhibit such chemistry despite overdubbing suggests that this will be an amazing live performance. Kirbie Rose Parker’s second album promises to far outstrip the merits of her first impressive effort and the opening single brings that promise into sharp focus.