Black Kettle - Narrative
Record Label – Heavy Rotation Records
Release – March 10th, 2010
“Oh please, tell me that you like me. Tell me I’ve got what you need. Tell me you want me around.”
Well all right then, Black Kettle. I do indeed like you and want you around. Narrative is bubbly sweet in all of the right ways. Induce the foot-tapping, head-bobbing, and maybe an occasional accompanying whistle.
Fronted by vocalist Keeley Bumford and Kailynn West, Black Kettle bring an air of effortless charm to a fine-tuned collection of songs. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, Narrative is lush with flirty, honey-sweet vocals. Take the instrumentals of Kimya Dawson, or sometimes Tegan and Sara, and throw Regina Spektor on lead vocals; you’re bound to nail at least one of the tracks on this ten-song disc.
Black Kettle has that barefoot, summer-tinged sound. Head for the boardwalk with sunglasses on and that cute boy or girl your heart’s been jumping to see and throw some Black Kettle tracks on for company. The album’s opener “Magnetic” effortlessly falls into this scene. Strange to think this female-fronted gem hails from Boston, a city often noted as home for a number of old-fashioned punk bands.
“Chameleon” opens with a well-placed collection of claps in place of any drums. You’ll find yourself tapping along on your steering wheel in no time. Yes, it’s soft and lovey-dovey, but this is exactly what works for this band.
Tracks such as “Like A Book” and “I Don’t Know” keep the listener on their toes, trading the peppy hand-claps for more somber, acoustic tunes. Violins and a quiet echo of ‘ba-ba-bah”s touch at just the right spaces in the latter of the two tracks. “You’re in through my ear and down to my heart. I’m losing direction, but I don’t want to fall this time,” Bumford’s vocals lament.
Leave the mainstream pop-rock slot for another band. Black Kettle has found just the right niche in this blend of quirky female-fronted indie-pop. Give them some acoustic guitar and a sunny afternoon in a coffee shop and you’re set.