sat 25/05/2024

CD: Kami Thompson - Love Lies | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Kami Thompson - Love Lies

CD: Kami Thompson - Love Lies

Daughter of folk royalty goes pop but dark as hell for her debut

Kami Thompson's 'Love Lies': an emotionally powerful and astoundingly assured debut

“I’d had five years of being really, really fucked around personally. That’s definitely where the songs come from.” Kami Thompson’s five years of being fucked around is good for us listeners though. You want to say thanks to all the horrible guy(s) who broke her heart, because it’s resulted in an emotionally powerful and astoundingly assured debut. The assured bit is not totally surprising perhaps, as she is the youngest daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson, and sister of Teddy.

As we know, genes don’t guarantee talent, but this is thrilling in its eviscerated, warped pop sensibility.

Take “Gotta Hold On”, one of several little short stories. The scene: Kami (or the narrator) is going out with this guy who is “a fine distraction”, the trouble is her heartbreak is flaring up and she wants to get “dressed up and pissed up”. She doesn’t want the guy “to see me cry the way I don’t cry for you”. Then it pivots into a killer pop chorus, of a kind Shania Twain might come up with on a good day, of “You gotta hold on to what you got/ Even if you don’t got a lot”. Uplifting, depressing, full of humanity, with a touch of self-pity. If it got on mainstream radio it could be a giant hit.

On another the chorus is “I heard you say never again”, but she can tell in his eyes he has found someone new. “If I asked you, darling, would you tell me her name?” she sings in her lived-in, resonant voice. On “Tick Tock”, more regret and woe for another, or perhaps the same doomed relationship: “Now your baby bites at my breast tonight”; it’s as much PJ Harvey as pop-country, closer to Sylvia Plath than Taylor Swift.  

It’s not entirely Plath-like because it’s actually quite knowing, apart from anything else that all this wallowing is getting a mite self-indulgent. The Love Lies of the title also applies to the playful deceptions of the songs. In the end, life force wins out over paralysed melancholy and masochistic ponderings. By the time of the last song, the only cover, George Harrison’s “Don’t Bother Me”, which ends this tightly produced album on a suitably world-weary note, we suspect she may be pained but she's also somewhat amused by all the “excellent misery”.

 Watch Kami Thompson perform "Tick Tock"


Uplifting, depressing, full of humanity, with a touch of self-pity. If it got on mainstream radio, it could be a giant hit


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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