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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE



As we have mentioned before the Buckle & Boots festival affords #TEAMw21 a chance to investigate names that we are unaware of or who may have slipped the net. Another such artist is Kier whose debut album "Welcome To The Strange Life" of 9 songs clocking in at just under 30 minute is a cracking little album that deserves to be nestling in any serious UK country fan's collection.

It opens to "Gypsies Castle", her debut single, released in the melee that occurs just after Buckle & Boots 2023, which is our excuse for not spotting it! It follows a familiar line, about making the most of your life, living it to the full, however this song takes it inspiration from her late friend Lulu who passed at just 19, who urged thousands like her to take risks, to "love fiercely, and to laugh with abandon."


The song opens a little bleakly, with Kier singing over a mournful organ sound

"Seems like fight or flight

A gypsy once said

You got 22 years of life

Well alright"

From there on in the band kicks in with the most country of backings - while Kier manages to squeeze in her well written words in with some skill. They are quite poetic for your average song lyric which makes them stand out all the more but equally they are to the point and hard hitting - the chorus ends

"Now tell me if you knew -

Would you live like this - If you die at 22!"

As an opening salvo to the world that musically you have arrived it is quite something! But that is just the start.

The power pop country of "We Made It" continues with the lyrical excellence, just admire the excellent alliterative use of the word "tang" and how her drink has been "caressing".

"Honest hands placed on my hips

A tang of Tennessee Whiskey caressing my lips

Expected lightening my darling

But never like this

It's something that I've missed"

 After a musical opening of jangling guitars it snaps into a punchy country groove, with a distinct energy about it. selling the exuberance of a relationship that has really clicked, the chorus powers things on to another level entirely each time it comes round.

"Like a flame in the wind

We're outta control

You're my oxygen baby

My rock to my roll

You levitate me

I'm up in the air

And I don't wanna come down

Ain't afraid of it my dear

We made it"


"Strange Life" opens to the sound of a number being dialled and a male voice answering "Hello" before embarking on a distinctly country sound. Channelling her inner Brandy Clark, this tale of escape could at first easily be about a fictional couple escaping an American small town

"We're leaving this city with all our

Worries, plans, cares, and friends behind us

Never coming back, never looking back

Even if they tried they'd never find us"

until Kier throws in a the most English of verses!

"Potholes, work zones

Deep ruts, loose nuts

Get to where you're going

Glass on the road

Will you make it home?

There's no way of knowing"

The inventiveness on this album never seeks to amaze - "Tuesday Bus" is a seemingly throwaway number barely 2 and a half minutes long, mainly just acoustic guitar with a little percussion and a faint wailing guitar however it is so much more.

At first seemingly it is just the recalling of a bus trip, the narrative is incredibly powerful.

"Go on love get in front of us

Tuesday morning, start the story

Getting on the bus

Small blue eyes

Much older than mine

Gotta history of mystery

Only 07:09

07:36, I'd learned he'd lost his wife

60 years of marriage and a beautiful life

He said, I got a daughter she has my eyes and my nose

He laughed to himself but then it looked like he froze"

It is a moving story, beautifully told, the time checks throughout giving it a sense of verisimilitude, the listener already onboard, can feel the sense of time passing. To really get the listeners bottom lips quivering, the strangers parting words are the final words of his wife

"Remember life is vicious, but it can also be kind

This world's full of soul mates, I'm so lucky I found mine

I'll have to love you and leave you but this ain't fair well

I'll see you in the next life

Whether that's heaven or hell"

It has a mic drop ending, a bit like Eminems "Stan" that forces you to go "Wow" on completion

Instantly upping the pace with a lively guitar intro is "Never Be Me" which sees Kier at her most sassy in another stand out track lyrically and musically - it would be easy to wax lyrical for some time about the many ways in which this song is excellent from the initial set up - which tells us there has been a relationship break up through to the devastating put you in your place chorus

"Nothing breaks like a brand-new heart

When you didn't even give it the time to start

Missing you

And I can guarantee when you're looking at her

She's nothing more than a clouded blur

Cause, we all know you see me too

So go ahead move on, play strong

Be whoever it is you're trying to be

But you know whoever she is

She won't ever be me"

In another inventive break from convention, the next section is repeated four times word for word, getting ever more enraged with each take

"Stop, calling me a liar I didn't ever slit your tyres

If it was me then I'd do something way worse

Don't, need to burn your clothes, break your car

Trash your home

It's your life I know you'll ruin it first"

All wrapped up in the most perfect tune - it is a little gem!!

I'm not sure a UK artist has ever attempted a song quite like "The King Of San Francisco", the lyrical interchange between the two characters is beautifully played out over a most unique sound. As if this was not enough, a later section sees the song totally morph into something else as the following lines are repeated again and again

Initially sung over just clicking fingers, then repeated with shakers added, then with a band that speeds up like a train to match the lyric.

"We're on a one-way train to San Francisco

And we'll be attending every disco"

before returning to the original style - It is completely bonkers - thoroughly entertaining!

"I'm So Hooked" is an unbridled songs about being a love after a "fair share of heartache" - the lyrics speak for themselves and are played out over a classic country sound

"Do you have plans for the rest of your life?

Because, only me and you could

Feel this right

Feels like I've been searching when I

Didn't have to look

You're my very own drug, darlin'

And I'm so hooked"

Once again mixing things up and playing against expectations comes the ominous introduction complete with police radios to the bleakly named "Town Of Black" - things are hardly brightened by the opening verse, including the address "Albatross Close" for good measure!

Kier's vocals match the lyrics and have a sleepy confusion about them, only ramping up the sense of confusion up more

"Been awake since quarter past 5

Haven't wiped the sleep from my eyes

There's a man standing over the road

Someone said he's from Albatross Close

There's an eerie feeling outside

Hear a gun, someone shot their wife"

There's a strange sense of feeling trapped and confused and there's even the possibility of this being a dream within a dream.

"You ever felt that feeling unknown

Your planted feet are so far from home

But you never even left the front door

Closing in and you feel the lure"

The feelings of paranoia are heightened throughout

"Tell me something was it real or fake

Tell me something

Not a nightmare coz that's when I'm awake

I'm awake"

The final track "Someone To You" closes things in anthemic style, and gives an insight into the type of person Kier is. It used to be that musicians would aspire to guitar shaped swimming pools however Kier finds her rewards in just being able to play abd be appreciated - if things blow up big then so be it qually if they don't they don't.

Lyrically we therefore go form expectations of others

"Momma told me I was gonna make it huge someday

On a big ol' stage with people screaming my name

But sometimes the bigger the better don't feel like the way

Well Daddy says he sees stars in my eyes and a house in the hills

You'll be living the dream for the kicks and the thrills

But baby you know that you've already made it to me"

through to an honest self assessment

"Can't you see

I don't care about pleasing the masses flying first class or

Living on a yacht avoiding my taxes

Everybody tells me that's the life, the thing I must do

But know the truth

I'm more than happy as no one

As long as I'm a someone to you"

The "You" being as much a message to the listener rather than a specific person - it ends on a "Hey Jude" style coda that one could eaily imagine the Buckle & Boots crowd taking to their heart, and bringing their voices to support.

Quite simply "Welcome To The Strange Life" is one of the most musically and lyrically inventive records #TEAMw21 have heard in ages. It's rich in styles, with top quality production and in Kier's songwriting a source of rich invention. This album is not just it though already a feature of Kier's live set is "Let The Credits Roll" which is as classic a piece of country music that you'll hear all weekend at B&B, while the in progress "The Storm" suggest there is so much more to come from Kier.

Can Kier reproduce this magnificent sound at Buckle & Boots - only one way to find out!!!

To grab one of the limited number of physical copies of "Welcome To The Strange Life" - see Link below

They will NOT be available on the day.




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