Home Read Albums Of The Week: Kirty | We Are All On Fire

Albums Of The Week: Kirty | We Are All On Fire

The indie darling ages gracefully – to a soundtrack of slow-burning lo-fi dream-pop.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kirty’s latest solo effort just seemed to pour right out of her. Having transitioned from her 20s to her 30s, the nine tracks that make up We Are all On Fire bookmark this new section of her life. The result is a deeply personal collection of songs that sees her confronting and reflecting on the heaviness of impermanence and mortality, everyday humans and their impact on everything (both good and bad), and the many faces of love. From the gut-wrenchingly beautiful God Help Us, about the powerlessness of watching the world fall apart, to tracks that explore love for a place (I Want Your Love), special person (Something About You) or occupation (We Are All On Fire), this is a bold and deeply honest album that externalizes the songwriter’s internal world.

When it came to recording this album, Kirty kept the circle small, co-producing with long-time collaborator Josh Van Tassel and Fast Romantics bandmate/songwriting partner Matthew Angus. “People who know me know that I can be a pretty private person at times and in the studio, I have some funny habits. I’m not like most musicians in the sense that I don’t always like to be cooped up in the studio. I tend to leave the room unexpectedly, get restless, and fluctuate between bursts of creativity and bursts of stir- craziness. Needless to say, I have my quirks.”

In order to keep the recording experience intimate, Kirty asked Van Tassel and Angus to hunker down for the entire length of writing and recording the record, which mixes her newfound affection for the sounds of 90s garage and synth-rock with more modern dream-pop influences.. “Josh played drums, Graeme Moffat played bass, and Matthew played a smattering of other instruments. Some of it happened before the pandemic with us all in a room, but we finished it separately. All the same, there’s this half-fictional image of the four of us in a circle, playing this live in a garage someplace in my head.”

For Kirty, making records is the art of making time capsules of your own life. She’s been at it since she was a kid, growing up on a hobby farm outside of Orillia, Ont. A middle child in a large musical family, from a young age she was taught the country, folk, and rock ’n’ roll standards, sparking in her those natural, timeless kind of songwriting instincts that can only be cultivated from the pop songsmiths of the 20th century. After making several homemade “time capsule” albums on her own, Kirty signed with a label in 2016 and released her first official album. Around the same time, she joined acclaimed indie-rock band Fast Romantics as a singer and multi- instrumentalist, and quickly became a core member, co-writing several songs for the group and touring internationally and relentlessly in the years that followed.

All of these experiences brought her to 2019, and after a whirlwind of new musical influences reached a climax, she began working on a new record of her own. Songs came fast and furious, marking in time her experiences on the road, the passing of close family members, and a growing relationship — both musical and romantic — with creative partner Angus.”

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