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As far as talented sisters go, it just doesn’t get much cooler than the Kirke family. After all, we already tune into Jemima each week on Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls.And, thanks to her recent roles in Gone Girl and Mistress America,23-year-old sister Lola’s big-screen domination is imminent. But now, the eldest sister Domino is the one we’re currently obsessing over – because she’s jumping back into the music game with a brand new EP.
The New York native has played music pretty much all her life (her dad Simon Kirke was the drummer for rock bands Free and Bad Company), but recently took a break after the birth of her son. Now the doula – yes, she’s a birth coach on the side – and musician has teamed up with producer Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic on Independent Channel, a four-song release that showcases her lush, electronic sound. Just before she kicks off her residency at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right, we chatted with Domino about her dancey new EP and how she decides which sister gets to star in her music videos.
You’re about to release your EP Independent Channel later this month after a break from music. How long have you been working on it? The EP has been in the works for a while, actually. It’s one of those things where Luke is so busy with his own projects, and I am a mom. After years of being out of the game, it takes a bit to get back into it! We weren’t all in the same place at the same time.
So did you make it remotely? Yeah, well, a lot of it was done via email. Luke would send me beats and I would write, and then we would come together and record. It was a little under a year for us to decide on the songs and record them in person.
How did you first link up with Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic? We had known each other from the neighborhood, but he was gone with Here We Go Magic for a while. But he came to one of my shows a while ago, and I was telling him about how I was writing more. I told him that I wanted to work with other people, and he said that he had been writing a bunch of beats, so it fit together perfectly. I was curious because I wanted to dabble a bit more in the electronic vibe. I was already in from that point on. [Laughs]
What was the process like, returning to music after taking some time off? It was challenging. I had gone from being a full-time mom, and I had another job as a birth coach. The whole time I was really excited to get back singing and writing, but I didn’t have the time yet. I started feeling more ready and my kid was old enough, so now I was able to bring some of my own love back into my life. It was hard, but the right people showed up at the right time. Living in Williamsburg, I’m so moved by all of my friends. They’re such amazing artists that I can’t help but be inspired.
Are you still a birth coach? Yes, but I’m not on-call as much. I’ve actually had to cut back since making the record. It’s hard for me to focus on being on-call and being creative at the same time…those things aren’t that great together. So I have actually lessened the birth work and am focusing more on music.
Your sisters are both actresses, and your dad was in music. Growing up, was it assumed that you would do something creative as a career? It was a bit assumed. I’m the oldest girl, and in families everyone has roles. Everyone assumed that I was the musical one, so they kind of hoped that I could go down that road. There were musicians all over my house, and my father was one. I had always figured music was something I would pursue, but I never knew exactly to what extent.
How has your sound evolved over the years? Initially my sound was very singer-songwriter, sort of bluesy. I studied music at LaGuardia [High School in New York City], and I had to really unlearn a lot of my training in order to figure out what my style was. I studied classical, gospel, all different types of music. I had a rock band in my early twenties, and that didn’t sound quite like me – I realized later that I’m not quite the rock chick. [Laughs] I feel like I’ve tried on a lot of different outfits as a singer, and now I’m coming into this sort of older, wiser type of thing.
What drew you into this more electronic sound? The electronic energy is so playful and dancey. It’s light and fun, and when we play it live it’s actually becoming quite different. It doesn’t sound quite as electronic. We’re still in the process of working on it, but it will be interesting.