Music / Kimbra

Kimbra (born Kimbra Johnson on March 27th, 1990) is a singer from New Zealand, although she has moved to Australia. Her main genre is soul. Her breakthrough came when she was featured in Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know"; aside from that, she's released two albums: Vows (2010/2012), which got two separate releases internationally and in the United States, and The Golden Echo (2014), which was released internationally.

  • Settle Down EP (2011)
  • Vows (2012)
  • The Golden Echo (2014)

Tropes in her songs include:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: The song "Old Flame" seems to be about a lover from back in the day who doesn't share the feelings she still has for him.
  • Action Girl: Really.
  • Album Title Drop: In "Settle Down":
    Let make our vows...
  • Anti-Climax: "The Build Up", a very quiet and surreal song at the end of Vows, could be seen as the musical equivalent of this. Also qualifies as a Non Indicative Name, though this is explained in the lyrics: "I wanted love without the build up."
  • Anti-Love Song: "Settle Down".
  • Body Paint: Used on the cover of Vows.
    • Also in the video of "Somebody That I Used to Know".
  • Call-Back: An untitled interlude heard at the end of "Limbo" (or "Posse" on the international version of Vows) reprises the "Star so light, star so bright" melody from "Settle Down".
  • The Chanteuse: Her role in the music video of "Good Intent".
  • Denser and Wackier: The Golden Echo, which was no easy task, considering the already sophisticated pop/R&B style heard on Vows.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Two Way Street" into "Old Flame".
    • This is done quite a bit on The Golden Echo, with the sounds of children playing, birds chirping, etc. filling in the gaps where there would normally be silence between songs.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out:
    • Seems to happen twice near the end of "Love in High Places".
    • The Stop and Go variant happens on "Nobody But You", which stops abruptly and then restarts as a funky remix of itself before fading out for real.
    • Inverted on "Teen Heat", which stops quite suddenly where you would expect the final chorus to continue all the way through.
  • Foreshadowing: The melody from "Carolina" briefly sneaks into the end of "90's Music".
  • Genre Roulette: Over the course of both of her albums, she puts her own twist on modern dance and indie pop as well as incorporating vintage jazz and soul sounds, and even covering Nina Simone.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Her apparent aversion to "hard" swears is discussed briefly in "Posse":
    You cuss and curse
    So they think that you're rough and tough
    But I like Shakespeare
    And I find "dammit" heavy enough
  • Hidden Track: "Somebody Please" in Vows. Some copies of the international edition feature "Wandering Limbs" as a hidden track instead, which was cut from the main track listing.
  • Hipster: "Posse" is about her resistance to becoming one.
  • Hopeless Suitor: "Plain Gold Ring". She wants a guy, but he's already engaged/married.
  • Housewife: Kimbra's "ambition" in "Settle Down".
  • Intercourse with You: "Teen Heat" is about the struggle to resist giving into this too soon.
  • "I Want" Song: "Settle Down".
  • Little Black Dress: Kimbra's costume in the music video of "Settle Down".
  • Noir Episode: The music video for "Good Intent" has shades of this trope, though it's in color.
  • Obsession Song: "Settle Down", due to Word of God stating that the song was written as a joke, thus the song leaning toward more of the "aggressive" type.
  • Rainbow Motif: The blindfolded men in the "Cameo Lover" video.
  • Rhyming with Itself: "Gold Mine" does this with two different meanings of the word "mine".
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Used extensively in a lot of her songs, to the point of being a part of her Signature Style. For example, the hook of "Settle Down".
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Her speaking voice is relatively low compared to singing voice in most of her music. A few songs, particularly some earlier ones, are closer to her speaking range.
  • Shout-Out: "90's Music" name-drops several of the decade's hitmakers in its hook, though the vocals are obscured to the point where it's not obvious at first.