The bass line infiltrates your body and consumes you. Then beat frees you and moves you. For those three and a half minutes, you don’t care where you are – all you can feel is the music. This is just a small example of what Kira Puru’s music can do.
Since taking the step away from her band, The Bruise, and embarking on a solo career towards to the world of pop, Puru has discovered not just the style of music she loves to create, but also herself.
“This feels more authentic to who I am [to previous work] and it encompasses all of the complex feelings I have and the things, that I feel, define me,” Puru said.
“You can find each vein of those things in this EP. Part of the reason it’s taken me so long is because it was hard for me to even articulate to myself the type of music that I wanted to make, so I certainly feel like it is the most representative [style of music].”
Of course, the word ‘pop’ has, in the past, been seen as a dirty word. A word that came with connotations that pop music is not cool, that pop music is just something that is fleeting and means nothing, especially during the time of angsty grunge or shoegaze. It’s a feeling that has been steadily changing in Australia over the last three to five years.
Pop actually is cool, and maybe it always was.
“I think we’ve become more comfortable with pop, pop-stars and pop culture in general. It’s not as shameful to indulge in popular things.
“I think it used to be a dirty word because it had a connection to selling out or to not having a sense of value or a credibility to it.”
Puru muses that the way that society has evolved in recent years has made it possible to create good pop music, without sacrificing the sense of value or credibility.
“Pop stars can have a greater depth of character and the songs can be about more complex thoughts and feelings than just love and the broader strokes,” she added.
In the era of wokeness, pop – it feels – is only now starting to show its true worth. And Puru is not shy of diving into the genre.
“Pop music is so efficient and economic with words” she explained, speaking of the challenge in transforming complex feelings into essentially a verse and chorus.
“I don’t take shit from people anymore who don’t value pop music because I think that’s just silly and lazy.”
After releasing a debut solo single, All Dulled Out, in 2015, Puru recorded an album and embarked on a tour that kick-started the rest of her musical career.
Singing alongside Dan Sultan, Vika & Linda Bull and Clairy Browne on the one and only Paul Kelly’s Merri Soul Sessions album was something that dreams are made of.
From this, Urthboy asked her to sing on his very personal 2016 track, Daughter of the Light (although Illy did beat him to it asking Kira to sing on Talk in 2012). This collaboration and backing really helped to propel Puru further into the limelight.
She reflects on her time with Urthboy, “The care that he took in incorporating me into his music… he really cared about the way I was perceived and the way I was contributing and how valued I felt.
“I think that was a really integral part to the next step in my career because things really did start to pop off after that.”
Not only is Puru using that step to launch her hugely promising career; she’s not afraid to be vocal, to call a spade a shovel or to make sure you spell her name right!
She can be heard and seen on Twitter making sure to call out those that need it and supporting others that also need it. In a world of social media, where battle-lines are drawn, crossed and re-drawn by the minute, it’s refreshing and also admirable to watch someone who carries through with their convictions.
But back to the bass.
One listen to Kira Puru’s self-titled debut EP will prove the prominence of a bass line. It permeates every track and leaves you breathless, but wanting more. It pounds in your chest at the front of the mix.
What was the thinking behind this “bass-line high”?
Kira explains that she drew from a variety of influences including hip-hop, pop, and even Rihanna, before coupling these with moods of disco-influenced pop.
“Having the bass in the forefront of it was something eventually came through as just the right choice and it really fit the music.
“Also, I think that in terms of mood and vibe, what the bass represents as an instrument in music – that sort of sexy feel – it’s rhythmic, but it’s also melodic and the way it connects with different instruments…”
After talking about what makes the bass so sexy, we both conclude that it was a hugely brash statement to make.
“I wanted it to be this irreverent, sassy, fierce, self-aware pop moment and I think the arrangement really plays a large part in that.”
Together with producer, Jon Hume, the pair made an EP that shines a light on, not only what it takes to make exciting pop music in this country, but also bringing back some much-needed disco to the genre.
This brings us back to dancing and what her headline tour around the country will look like.
“We’re looking everywhere to find little ways in which we can deliver a bigger, better live show.
“I think the music’s in a better place in the live context and I’ve decided to chuck in a couple of songs that people haven’t heard which will be new to the set for the live tour specifically…We might have a few special guests if I can get my shit together.
“It’s just f***ing fun! I really love that we’ve created that with this EP and the other songs that are part of the live show. It’s just so nice to have that exchange with people, both as an artist, but just in the world.”
With a voice of passion, a feeling of freedom and a damn sexy soundtrack, Kira Puru is delivering her fresh version of pop-love around the country.
Feel the music, dance with abandon, but don’t forget to really listen.
KIRA PURU – FLY TOUR
Friday 23 November, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD w/ Sparrows + DVNA
Saturday 24 November, The Lansdowne, Sydney NSW w/ Sparrows + XIRA
Friday 30 November, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC w/ Sparrows + Sannia
Saturday 1 December, Wine Machine, McLaren Vale SA
Thursday 6 December|Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC w/ Sparrows + Ro
Friday 7 December, The Sewing Room, Perth WA w/ Your Girl Pho + Brontë
Saturday 8 December, HyperFest, Perth WA
Friday 15 February – Saturday 16 February, Mountain Sounds, Kariong NSW
Friday 8 March – Sunday 10 March, A Festival Called Panama, Lone Star Valley TAS