It’s been quite the journey for Kimberlye Gold, starting with the release of her debut album back in 2004. She’s navigated through what would eventually become three unique eras in the history of pop music to come out on the other side of things sounding a lot more focused than the majority of her peers are sounding in 2023, and this is certainly evident when listening to her all-new EP Soliloquy. From “A Place in Your Heart” to “Who We Are Now,” this is a record that was designed to demonstrate her evolutionary trajectory, and it hits the mark rather brilliantly.
Let’s get into some highlights here right off the bat. “How Can I Be Sure” (a cover of The Young Rascals’ 1967 song) and “The Right Kind of No” are, in my opinion, the most mature lyrical specimens this singer/songwriter has cut thus far in her campaign, but they nonetheless come up short in minimizing the impact of the other material on this disc. There’s an angularity to the storytelling we encounter in the aforementioned “A Place in Your Heart” and “Nowhere to Go But Gone” that speaks to the experimental side of Gold’s sound, and if it gets a little more development time I think it’s going to produce even more chills in her next proper LP.
I adore how much ground is covered in Soliloquy for it being comprised of a mere five songs, and if other players in the indie singer/songwriter genre are wondering how to broach the task of making a solid extended play, they would do well to take a page out of Gold’s book in the future. Without being formulaic, she finds her groove in this tracklist early on and applies what feels like the same template to a variety of different narratives and nuanced melodies – with, of course, her signature voice being the linchpin throughout.
Gold’s harmonies in “Who We Are Now,” “The Right Kind of No” and “Nowhere to Go But Gone” are reminiscent of the old school in singer/songwriter works, though I would stop shy of saying that any of the songs sound like a direct throwback. There’s already plenty of nonsense coming out of the latest ‘retro’ movement to gather steam in the international underground without this quality player throwing her hat into the ring, and she rightly decides to stick with something a lot more relevant and endearing in this release (while showing off her influences simultaneously, I should add).
A brooding singer/songwriter of the finest tradition, I think it should be said that Kimberlye Gold has indeed found her creative wings in Soliloquy, and I don’t expect her to come down from the ensuing flight anytime soon. Everything about this EP feels like a graduation, and given just how much potential it has for bringing Gold’s music to a much larger collection of fans and critics from around the globe, I think its title is one of the more ironic I’ve come across in a long time. She’s not retreating here; she’s blazing forward into the unknown rather bravely.