words by tom johnson
photography by hunt pennington
Re-recorded and re-released as a way of documenting her more-refined current style, Texan songwriter Katy Kirby today shares a beautiful new rendition of “Tap Twice”; a placeholder while she works away on new material.
Described as an “indie rock practitioner with a writerly focus on unspoken rules, misunderstandings of all kinds, and boredom“, Kirby previously made gentle waves with a cassette release on the much-loved Texan label, Keeled Scales, and the new recording does little to diminish those ripples, the whole thing coming together with a little more polish than before but with just as much grace.
An exercise in duality, ‘Tap Twice’ begins in subtle folk landscapes, Kirby’s soft voice casting a mesmerising shadow across the plain, before a mid-point shift sees a shift in tone and temperature, the track ramping up for a final flourish, equal parts raucous and revealing.
Of the song, Kirby herself says:
“Tap Twice is about the formation of unspoken agreements in a new relationship, the process of silently negotiating with someone what you might mean to each other, and what happens when negotiation turns into an arm-wrestling match over how much you’re willing to reveal.
It’s about the weird rapport that develops as you’re circling each other this way (unless it’s all in your head?), triangulating data from small gestures and two-word texts, analyzing the face smiling at you from a profile picture, reading into the murky details of an internet persona.
It’s about sooner or later accepting all this as part of the territory–learning to live in that spooky interpretive space with someone, respecting it as a part of the deal you’ve struck up.
Available across streaming services from today, you can listen to the new version of the song, and keep an eye on her socials for updates on new material. Check it out: