If you are a fan of innovative, soulful, and authentic singer-songwriters, look no further than YouTube artist Kinna Grannis and her album Elements. The 28-year-old indie singer-songwriter released her sophomore LP, Elements, on May 6, and is comparable in sound to indie and folk artists such as Laura Marling, Birdy, and Jenny Lewis. The 12-track album, produced by Aqualung’s Matt Hales, captures the lush acoustics Grannis is known for from her YouTube channel covers and features folk-driven vocals and intricate, ethereal lyrics. Kina Grannis album review shows that she is battling the elements.
Photo courtesy of The A.V. Club
The first two singles off the album, “Dear River” and “The Fire” follow the theme of “elements” and aim to set both the contrasting light and darker moods of the album as a whole. “River” combines a steady drum beat with softer, flowing vocals and an upbeat tempo that keeps up with the lyrics. Meanwhile, “Fire” takes a darker, more driven approach to the theme, as Grannis lyrics tell a tale of destruction that results from burning fires within.
“My Dear” is more relatable to those familiar with Grannis’ past songs, similar to her past single, “In My Arms.” However, it is “Dear” and other similar tracks off Elements that feature a much more mature and expressive sound. In particular, it is “Winter” and “This Far” that seem to most express the amount of heart, soul, and passion Grannis has poured into this project. Both songs deal with the aftermath of relationships that have ended and lost love, although “This Far” takes on a simpler approach.
Almost a dark horse track of sorts, straying from the album’s theme, “My Own” serves as the sweet and simple lullaby that showcases lovely harmonies and acoustic guitar.
Overall, the album is sweet and soaring, melancholy and driven, heartfelt and hopeful. Above all else, Grannis’ lyrics are only highlighted by either airy or darker vocals and instrumentals. The most notable difference between Grannis’ earlier work and her most recent venture is evident through the moving lyrics accompanied by powerful, driven instrumentals and vocals. She finds a way to sing of heartache and passion, both light and dark, through a folk-driven sound.
Photo courtesy of kinagrannis.com