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Kitba Undergoes A Spiritual Journey On Self-Titled Debut Album

Brooklyn-based harpist and singer-songwriter Kitba leaves their stamp of authenticity with their self-titled debut album.

Self title Debut Album from Kitba
Self title Debut Album from Kitba

The project is characterized by ruminant lyricism, benevolent vocals with a focus on mellow production. Though their unconventional song structure offers fairly short verses, every line is meticulously written. The Brooklyn musician is on a road of self-discovery describing the complicated relationship they have with themself. Kitba grapples with physical insecurities and gender identity.

Kitba Releases Emotional Debut “Kitba”

The album opener is the indie pop/rock track “Tell Me What I Am,” where the singer feels conflicted with their identity. “So hold me in your eyes / In your mind, and tell me / What I am / Because the only thing that’s ever felt real / Is the way someone else feels.” Kitba looks for outer reassurance in effort to comprehend their inner thoughts. With few lyrics and three electric guitar instrumental breaks, “Tell Me What I Am,” leaves the answer to the important question a mystery. 

The following track and preliminary single, “My Words Don’t Work,” shifts to an art-pop sound with harrowing lyrics. 

“This is the only song I have ever pushed to reimagine. I see it as being addressed to someone external or internal, about an inability to articulate oneself and the yearning felt when trying to convey anything that means anything.” Kitba tells BrooklynVegan. 

“Peel Away The Rind” gave us another taste of the poetic lyricism Kitba’s debut LP offers. “With the blood orange juice dripping down my cheek / I reached out to touch your mouth with sticky fingers / I traced your lips to find the words that came out / Peel away the rind / And feed me the fruit / I wanna know what it tastes like.”

Kitba reveals in a statement: “This song poured out of me inexplicably one night during the depths of the pandemic while sitting at the counter eating a blood orange.” For Kitba, the meaning behind the track is still unclear in their mind. Their lyrics are like looming places in their mind and music is the way Kitba dissects them and reaches revelations. 

Gender Identity & Insecurity

Further, “This Body,” was the final preview before the release of the full-length project. Kitba’s melodies float over a sedative instrumental ascending into trumpet heaven. Kitba the record, elevated artistic as well as personal development for the musician. The creative process provoked deep introspection, prompting revelations around Kitba’s gender identity. 

TW: Eating disorders
Kitba shares in a statement:

“I had written “This Body” initially with the soft-meaning of a physical body’s shape (and as someone who has struggled with an ED for decades), but it occurred to me that I could have been creating space in my mind to challenge what I perceived as “fixed” gender. As I began letting go of the idea of myself as a “woman,” I felt a lightness come over my body. I felt freer to simply exist as myself.” 

“It’s Just Me” sees Kitba dealing with their physical insecurities. “I fall down through the smoke / And hit the bottom /  But it’s just me / In a well of mirrors / This cave is a cage / And I am a bird / Forced to face my reflections / And turn them, turn them friendly.” 

The end of Kitba fails to find self resolution and inner peace. The singer continues to experience inner conflict and low self esteem. Kitba plays the harp on the self-deprecating closer, “Doing It Wrong.” The instrumental slowly builds up reaching an electric guitar and drum crescendo as Kitba undergoes overcritical self-reflection. “Noise floating in on the wind / Cover my ears as I try not to hear / ‘Cause I don’t wanna know what I’m doing wrong / I’ve been doing it wrong all along.” Kitba repeats “I’ve been doing it wrong all along” until the instrumental fades away.

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