Kimya Dawson

Antifolk Home Page

The problem with almost every contemporary female vocalist is that they're always pretending to be something that they're not. Sometimes it's a highly feminine sophisticated sexual, love-lost artist's with their heart on their sleeves. Always pretending that they actually feel something or maybe sing about a great love they never had. The Moldy Peaches co-founder, and goddaughter of Antifolk, Kimya Dawson, succeeds by simply being true to her self. There is no empty space between her visions. There is no filler in her songs. Kimya succeeds by being tender and vulnerable, silly and raw. She shows you what she feels and makes you want to feel it too. She shows you what she loves and makes you love it. She is the quintessential bohemian artist. She is what almost every smoky nightclub jazz chanteuse wishes she could be -- authentic. Kimya is the artist-poet skateboard girl. And, most importantly, she is a very delicate human sensing device. She is the only real human on a planet full of androids. What makes her and her music so unique and amazing is her undiluted humanity, comparable only with Richard Prior in the way she uses humor and sorrow combined as a personal healing device. She was raised in her parents home day care center in Bedford Hills, New York, listening to Sesame Street, Muppets and Raffi albums. Her parents encouraged her to go out and get dirty. They gave her a stack of 8-tracks in a shoebox. She loved Woody Guthrie, Buffy Saint- Marie, and Paul Simon. She studied theater with Antonio Fargas (Car Wash, Starsky and Hutch) and started collecting soundtracks of Broadway musicals. Self conscious about her voice and never quite fitting in, she sat alone in her bedroom singing songs from Annie, Cats, Oliver, and The Wiz. In high school she fell in love with Cat Stevens, Metallica, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Chopin, Neil Diamond, Sting, and Johnny Cash. She sat alone in her room singing along to records, introspective and emotional. In 1991 she moved to Olympia, Washington. Olympia's indie music scene shocked and intrigued Kimya, who had never known any musicians other than the ones on the radio, in the school band, or whose records her parents had. Her collection grew to include records by The Rickets, Unwound, Built to Spill, Love as Laughter, Modest Mouse, Heavens to Betsy, and Tattletale. She still felt out of place. She got a typewriter and became an unstoppable writer. In 1994 she and Adam Green started creating and recording songs together as The Moldy Peaches. It wasn't until the band's first hiatus, in 1999, back in New York, that she was given a guitar and started writing songs by herself. As part of the Antifolk community she felt happy and at home. Still she sings like she wishes nobody were watching. "I'm sorry that sometimes i'm mean" (Rough Trade) is the first of the three solo albums (including "knock-knock who?" and "my cute fiend sweet princess") Kimya has recorded on a four track, in her bedroom. Smart lyrics balanced with simple, and childlike musical arrangements, these are the sort of songs someone writes with no intention of anyone else ever hearing them. "Hold My Hand" is a heartbreaking song about child abuse as disturbing as Dolly Parton's "Me and Little Andy". Kimya has shared bills with the likes of Daniel Johnston and The Butchies. Recorded with Ben Kweller on his album SHA SHA. She appeals to the young and the old, folkies and punks, and everyone in between. She sits in a chair and hides behind her acoustic guitar but the way she grabs your heart is scary and unprecedented.

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