Album Review: Kirin J Callinan’s Flamboyance, Vulnerability, and Innovation Displayed in Newly Released Album ‘If I Could Sing’ + Tour Dates

The Breakdown

For enthusiasts of experimental electronic music, or pretty much anything else, this album is a must-listen and showcases the beauty inherent in Kirin's unbridled creativity.
Worse Records 8.5

The much-anticipated album, ‘If I Could Sing‘, by the iconic Australian artist Kirin J Callinan, is officially out today. Crafted amidst the diverse landscapes of Sydney, Los Angeles, and a remote coastal batch in New Zealand during the isolating times of the pandemic, this release marks a deeply personal journey for Callinan. The collection of songs offers an intimate glimpse into his tumultuous inner world.

The album begins with the intriguing ‘Bread of Love‘ featuring Naeem, blending elements of underground club beats and experimental rock, ultimately climaxing in a cacophony of screams. It sets the stage for the unpredictable journey that lies ahead. ‘Young Drunk Driver‘, a pre-released indie pop ballad, has already garnered significant attention with over 150,000 Spotify plays and stands out as a personal favourite – I will absolutely be listening to this every day for the next year.

Navigating through the album, the term “genre-defying” comes to mind, though it feels insufficient to encapsulate the uniqueness of Callinan’s exuberant personality expressed in each song. Tracks like the synth-heavy ‘Crazier Idea‘ and the candid ‘Eternally Hateful‘ are veiled in a nostalgic electronic haze.
Title track ‘If I Could Sing‘ emerges as a poignant, softer sound reminiscent of a love story, offering a moment of vulnerability amid the chaos, and stands out as a definite highlight. The instrumental and high-energy track ‘Untitled 8‘ precedes the sugar-sweet ‘My Little One‘ and ‘…In Absolutes‘, both showcasing Callinan’s vocals, which resonate with a rich and low-frequency timbre, adding a velvety and sonorous quality to the sound.

The album concludes with the perfect instrumental outro, ‘Disdain’s Not Dead‘ which is what I imagine plays as background sound at alien aquariums. For enthusiasts of experimental electronic music, or pretty much anything else, this album is a must-listen and showcases the beauty inherent in Kirin’s unbridled creativity. His work exudes a futuristic retro feel, characterised by undeniable talent and a voice ready for ballads. Despite the album’s title, it becomes evident that Kirin not only sings but does so exceptionally well.

The excitement doesn’t end with the album release. Kirin J Callinan is gearing up for his headline If I Could Sing tour across Australia, Europe, and the UK, set to kick off in Berlin, Germany, in April. In a delightful surprise for fans, he is also hosting a series of free in-store album launches in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, starting this week.

Known for his flamboyant stage presence, Callinan initially gained recognition as the guitarist for the internationally acclaimed band Mercy Arms. His solo career has been marked by energetic and daring live performances that seamlessly blend vulnerability with humour. Collaborations with artists like Connan Mockasin, Weyes Blood, Mac Demarco, and Mark Ronson, including contributions to the Grammy-winning album ‘Uptown Special’, have solidified Callinan’s position in the industry. He has also worked with pop sensation Caroline Polacheck, goth metal artist Kim Dracula, and co-wrote and performed on Genesis Owusu’s award-winning debut album, ‘Smiling With No Teeth’ & ARIA #1 album ‘The Struggler’.

It’s fantastic to observe Kirin J Callinan as he continues to showcase his versatile and innovative contributions to the universe, further establishing his enduring impact on everyone within reach.

If I Could Sing Album Launches + In-Store
Friday 2nd February – Live In Store Performance @ Soundmerch
64 Oxford St, Collingwood (6pm-8pm)
Friday 2nd February – Album Launch Party @ The Tote
ft. Kirin J Callinan, The Deep Faith (SYD), Kidskin (SYD), Crybaby & Terrible DJ’s (USA)
67-71 Johnston St, Collingwood (8pm-late)

Saturday 3rd February – Live In Store Performance @ Hum Records
271 King St, Newtown (12pm-2pm)
Saturday 3rd February – Album Launch Party @ Cafe Freda’s
ft. Kirin J Callinan, The Deep Faith, Mahne Frame, DJ Dumpling & Terrible DJ’s (USA)
191-195 Oxford St, Darlinghurst (4pm-9pm)

Thursday 8th February – Live In Store Performance @ Jet Black Cat Music
ft. Terrible / Worse Records Afterparty & DJ’s
72A Vulture St, West End (6pm-late)

If I Could Sing 2024 Tour
Friday 19th April – Kantine am Berghain | Berlin, Germany
Sunday 21st April – La Maroquinerie | Paris, France
Tuesday 23rd April – TBA | Manchester, England
Wednesday 24 April – Oslo | London, England
Friday 3rd May – Jive | Adelaide, Australia
Saturday 4th May – The Corner Hotel | Melbourne, Australia
Friday 10th May – Altar | Hobart, Australia
Saturday 11th May – Oxford Art Factory | Sydney, Australia
Saturday 18th May – The Zoo | Brisbane, Australia
Saturday 25th May – Rosemount Hotel | Perth, Australia

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