Here at SoulBounce headquarters, buzz is always high on “New Music Friday” as we eagerly sample the latest releases. But today calls for a special toast. After waiting almost four years for KIRBY to bless us with her debut project, Sis. is finally here, and we’re raising a glass of cherry Kool-Aid to celebrate.
Our applause isn’t just because the Bounce-Worthy artist – who spent several years writing for superstars like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Brandy and Arianna Grande – has channeled that artistic brilliance into an incredible collection of her own. Our commendation is also compelled by the fact that the Mississippi-born/Memphis-bred singer-songwriter has come through drippin’ on the other side of what she describes as “the hardest 2 1/2 years of my life.”
Sis. is worth your coin on the merits of the first three singles alone. It’s impossible to listen to “Kool Aid,” “Don’t Leave Your Girl” and “We Don’t Funk” and not be completely transfixed by the lethal combination of KIRBY’s vocals and Homer Steinweiss‘ vintage-soul production. Thankfully, the duo takes it a step further – delivering an additional four songs that, when strung together, create a continuous thread that loops around themes of love, vulnerability, empowerment and, most importantly, supportive sisterhood. Standouts include the dreamy, guitar-driven tune, “Velvet,” and the funky bass-driven strut of “Penny.”
In a recent interview with DJBooth, KIRBY explains the impetus behind the album’s concept like this: “When people hear my music, I want them to think of me as their sis. That’s my word! Every time I’m talking to a girl, it’s like “Sis! Sis!” Man, if people can listen to my music and feel connected to me: I’m like the girl in the salon that’s doing their hair or the girl they would call when they breaking up with their man. That, to me, is the biggest success. When women hear [Sis], I want them to think of themselves, and I want them to see me as a woman they can relate to.”
Well done, Sis. Well done!