Kitba – “My Words Don’t Work”

Kitba – “My Words Don’t Work”

Rebecca Kitba Bryson El-Saleh is a songwriter and classically-trained harpist that grew up in Houston, went to school in Toronto, and now lives in Brooklyn. Over the years, they’ve played with Cassandra Jenkins, mmeadows, and JG Thirlwell, and back in 2020, they released the EP Break Through Arrive Here, El-Saleh’s first collaboration with producer Zubin Hensler, a name you might recognize from his frequent work with Half Waif. El-Saleh teamed up with Hensler once again for their debut full-length album, Kitba, which will be released at the end of July.

Today, we’re getting the magnificent lead single from Kitba, “My Words Don’t Work,” a stark, melodic slow-burn where Kitba expresses frustration with how hard it can be to say what you mean: “I chew on my consonants/ The words stick on my tongue/ Barely fumble past my lips/ And then hang in the air fall like dead weight,” they sing.

“I tried not to put this on the album and was initially embarrassed to show it to Zubin Hensler, who engineered, co-produced, and mixed the record,” Kitba said in a statement, continuing:

The vulnerability of saying something this direct felt uncomfortable, but Zubin was supportive and (thankfully) insistent that it be a part of the record. There was an initial version (that got released on a benefit compilation for Whateverʼs Clever) that was just harp and voice, recorded together a foot from Zubin in the control room of his Sunset Park studio, but I had another more demoed out version that I couldnʼt get out of my head. This is the only song I have ever pushed to reimagine. I see it as being addressed to someone external or internal, about an inability to articulate oneself and the yearning felt when trying to convey anything that means anything.

Listen below.

01 “Tell Me What I Am”
02 “My Words Don’t Work”
03 “Peel Away The Rind”
04 “I’m Empty”
05 “Tied To Strings”
06 “Untie The Binds”
07 “This Body”
08 “It’s Just Me”
09 “Waiting”
10 “Spilling Out”
11 “Doing It Wrong”

Kitba is out 7/21 via Ruination Record Co.

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