Birthmark – “Find Yourself” (Stereogum Premiere)
Nate Kinsella made his mark in the Chicago music scene playing with prominent rocker cousins Mike (in American Football) and Tim (in Joan Of Arc and Make Believe). The Kinsella name is a musical mainstay, but Nate’s own influence resonates through his solo project Birthmark. He’s released three albums under the moniker, and a fourth called How You Look When You’re Falling Down is coming this fall. Lead single “Find Yourself” was initially written during a flight from New York to Chicago on an iPad app, and the song embodies exactly what the title reads, with poppy hooks singing the praises of exploration and freedom. The result is a vibrant and shimmering soundtrack for everyone’s personal journey, Birthmark’s signature electro-pop buoyed by a beautiful arrangement of strings from contemporary classical ensemble Mivos Quartet and horns played by members of New York band Antibalas. Kinsella says his album inspiration derived from his move to New York and a trip to Bali:
I fell in love with Gamelan music while auditing a Balinese Gamelan class at the University of Illinois and ended up spending my honeymoon in Bali. While we were there, I got to play twice in an impromptu Gamelan ensemble with a village priest and his family on their family compound in Ubud. The ages of the players ranged from 6 to 60, and their skills blew me away.
“Find Yourself” is a cheerful cinematic wonder. Listen below.