New York-based songwriter Katy Kirby is announcing her second album ‘Blue Raspberry’ today, to be released on January 26, 2024. Her first for ANTI- Records, ‘Blue Raspberry’ dives headlong into the artifice of newfound intimacy: the glitter smeared across eyelid creases, the smiles switched on with an electric buzz, the synthetic rose scent all over someone who's made herself smell nice just for you. An exegesis of Kirby's first queer relationship, ‘Blue Raspberry’ traces the crescendo and collapse of new love, savoring each gleaming shard of rock candy and broken glass along the way.
With today’s announce she is sharing the song and video for “Table”. Directed by Lane Rodges, the clip features Katy in puritanical garb as she sizes up a table that represents the limitations she experienced being raised as a homeschooled evangelical Christian.
Reflecting on “Table,” Kirby says the song is “a thematic outlier on this record, and more of a lighthearted leftover from my god-haunted past life–it’s the last on the album and sort of serves as an epilogue or outro for the rest of the songs. Most importantly it’s quite fun to sing.”
‘Blue Raspberry’ follows Kirby’s acclaimed 2021 debut album ‘Cool Dry Place’, which was named ‘Album of the Week’ by Stereogum and one of the most anticipated albums of 2021 by Vulture, Paste, Vice, Line of Best Fit and more. Post-release she took ‘Cool Dry Place’’s clear-eyed, intimate music on the road with Waxahatchee, Andy Shauf, Pinegrove, Fenne Lily and Julia Jacklin. While the songs on that record unfold amidst Kirby finding her voice, ‘Blue Raspberry’ is a polished and confident sophomore effort that deepens the question that bubbled throughout ‘Cool Dry Place’: how can people reach each other despite all the hazard zones where human connection caves in?
“This record is much more personal than I intended it to be. I was in a period of experimenting with how I write, and what came out was a song about a woman, about an imagined her—I didn’t think I was writing as or about myself, but these kinds of songs kept coming out, with fragments of overlapping lyrics linking them together like beads on a string. They seemed to inhabit the same world.”
Originally from Spicewood, Texas, Kirby was living in Nashville when she started writing ‘Blue Raspberry’'s title track, the first of the album's songs to take shape. "'Blue Raspberry' is the oldest song on the record. I began to write it a month or so before I realized, I think I’m queer," she says. "There’s a tradition of yearning in country love songs. I like the male yearning songs better, usually. I started writing 'Blue Raspberry,' and I was thinking about, if I was in love with a woman, what would I love about her? Especially if she was someone that I couldn’t touch, but that I was pining for.”
To underscore ‘Blue Raspberry’'s lyrical themes, Kirby worked with her band to develop a newly lush sonic palette replete with orchestral gestures arranged by her friend Rowen Merrill. "I felt like I was intending to write love songs for the first time. Once I realized they were queer love songs and celebrating artificiality, I wanted them to sound like they were bidding for a spot in the wedding reception canon," she says. "It was more fun to just go for it than to try to restrain ourselves. Especially if we were just accepting the fact that we were trying to make objectively beautiful music, whatever that means."
Just after the album’s January release next year Kirby will embark on a nationwide tour that begins in Washington DC on February 3 and wraps around the country, ending back on the East coast at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom on March 8. All upcoming dates are listed below.
Feb 3 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd#
Feb 4 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle - Back Room#
Feb 5 – Asheville, NC @ Eulogy#
Feb 7 – Nashville, TN @ The Blue Room at Third Man Records#
Feb 8 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade – Purgatory#
Feb 9 – Jackson, MS @ Hal & Mal's#
Feb 11 – Dallas, TX @ Sons of Hermann Hall#
Feb 13 – Austin, TX @ The Ballroom#
Feb 15 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress#
Feb 16 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room#
Feb 17 - West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy Theatre#
Feb 18 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop#
Feb 19 – Sacramento, CA @ Goldfield Trading Post#
Feb 21 - Portland OR @ Polaris Hall#
Feb 22 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza#
Feb 24 – Boise, ID @ Shrine Basement#
Feb 25 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court#
Feb 27 – Denver, CO @ Hi Dive#
Feb 29 – Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge#
Mar 1 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry#
Mar 2 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon#
Mar 3 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall#
Mar 5 – Detroit, MI @ The Sanctuary#
Mar 6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Warhol Entrance Space#
Mar 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's#
Mar 8 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
# - with Allegra Krieger