Album ReviewsReviews

Kinit Her – The Blooming World (2016)


Kinit Her, intriguing as ever. The Amer­ican folk out­fit centered around Nath­aniel Ritter and Troy Schafer, with the weird vocals, the gor­geous strings, the exper­i­ments. It had been a while since the last proper album release, but fans have been kept con­tent with reg­u­lar tracks and tid­bits through the band’s Band­camp sub­scrip­tion pro­gram. Now then, there is The Bloom­ing World, recor­ded over the course of the six years before 2015, and the quite a while in the mak­ing.

Album starter “Open Shadow” is com­pel­lingly com­posed: a flow­ing buildup where the vari­ous vocal­ists (Ritter, Schafer, Jes­sica Way, and Dani Schafer) take turns, backed by swell­ing strings. The piece then shifts into a rhythmic and delight­fully strange denoue­ment with bells, chants, and wolves howl­ing in the dis­tance.

Kinit Her are always seek­ing the mys­tical, the hid­den; much more occult than a lot of the romantic neo­folk we’ve been get­ting the past two dec­ades, but also more statuesque and cere­mo­nial than some pur­vey­ors of altern­at­ive folk. This is quite clear on the four tracks that make up the middle of this album. Driven by acous­tic gui­tar and voice, the songs hint at arcane know­ledge, the nat­ural world revealed in a sym­bolic blos­som­ing.

The title track rein­tro­duces the two female guest vocal­ists who give the track an eerie, luke­warm blanket. With its bells and string hits, the track reminds me that indeed Kinit Her occa­sion­ally ven­ture into Dead Can Dance ter­rit­ory: strangely unworldly world music, to use that hor­ribly prob­lem­atic term.

The album takes leave with “Key Grant­ing Key”, a step back into psy­che­delic ter­rit­ory. The com­pos­i­tion feels cyc­lical, hyp­notic, with rich gui­tars, deep per­cus­sion and a string back­ing, and again the typ­ical Kinit Her vocal sound. If not for those, this track could have come off a late 90s In Gowan Ring album, and in my book that’s noth­ing but praise. A lush end­ing to an album that’s short, but per­fectly dosed.

The Bloom­ing World is out digit­ally at the time of writ­ing, and will be released on vinyl by Pes­anta Urfolk in the near future.