Were a slum to be found just outside the gates of heaven, the disturbed undertones, medieval acoustic guitars, and agonized voices so prevalent in the music of Kinit Her would make an adequate representation of the contrasts presented in that image. After a string of EPs, Wisconsin’s Kinit Her have returned with The Blooming World—to continue with their unique sound, this time conjuring a more heavenly and mystical journey, while still retaining their signature disturbing atmosphere.
Much of The Blooming World is inspired by works by German philosopher and metaphysicist Frithjof Schuon, who examines concepts dealing with the universality of certain truths, particularly with regards to spirituality and other principles common to many religions. This philosophical emphasis helps provide Kinit Her with an aura of mysticism that pervades much of this release, greatly embellishing its atmosphere.
Clocking in at just under thirty-four minutes, The Blooming World is a rich piece of work even in its short length. The opening track of Open Shadow embodies the essence of this album and an example of Kinit Her’s general sound. Graceful and majestic violins accompanied by the vocals of Jessica Way contrast with various agonized moans and howls in the background. Throat-singing—a signature aspect of Kinit Her’s sound—and the shofar, a ram’s horn, further augment this perturbed atmosphere. It is this contrast between heavenly atmosphere, creepy vocalizations and unconventional folk elements that makes The Blooming World a fascinating listen. These core elements continue for the duration of the release, while tracks such as Learning Conveyed in Daylight venture into a neo-folk sound with an emphasis on medieval acoustic guitar that evokes an early-Christian, Middle Ages feel.
Troy Schafer and Nathanial Ritter, the principle songwriters of the group, have once more crafted an intricate release that again straddles a fine line between a sense of spirituality and paranoia. The addition of spiritual/philosophical lyrical themes further strengthens this atmosphere that Kinit Her has consistently been able to provide across their discography. The Blooming World is a fine addition to Kinit Her’s discography, but perhaps this time, it is not as disturbing, so it may appeal to a wider audience. This album is definitely recommended for fans of neo-folk in the vein of Lux Interna or Agalloch’s acoustic elements.
Genre: Neo-Folk, Experimental
Label: Pesanta Urfolk
Release: September 22, 2016
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1. Open Shadow
2. Learning Conveyed in Daylight
4. Blooming World
6. Key Granting Key