Kirin J Callinan
'Return To Center' is Kirin J Callinan's new record, a reconnection with what made him fall in love with music over and over throughout the years, and a very personal exploration of the timeless songwriting tradition passed down and reinterpreted from one generation to the next. Following two albums of inimitable, challenging pop music that garnered global acclaim and marked Callinan as entirely unique, a singular talent, nominations for the Australian Music Prize, support slots for everyone from Crowded House to Tame Impala, a role acting in Jane Campion's 'Top Of The Lake' and an ARIA Award Nomination, ironically it was singing other peoples' songs that felt like the most truthful next step for the swashbuckling Sydney artist. On 'Return To Center' Callinan's trademark flamboyance is cut with a newfound fragility that comes curled up in an attempt to do justice to the songs he holds nearest and dearest.
'Return To Center' collects Callinan reworks of both all-time favourites and last-minute spontaneous additions, songs that have shaped the artist he is today amongst songs that were jammed out of the blue in the studio. Callinan sounds all too in step with Laibach's teutonic march 'Life Is Life', before completely transforming the twitchy Prince-lite of Momus' 'The Homosexual' into lithe, tender acoustic folk. The Waterboys' 'Whole Of The Moon' is rendered even more melodramatic and heart wrenching than the original and comes off like the theme song to the greatest 80s sitcom you never saw, while Randy Newman's 'Pretty Boy' sticks largely faithful to the sombre original, and Public Image Limited's 'Rise' ascends amidst Celtic guitars and television news clips. At the chronological and spiritual center of the record - the eye of the storm - lies the title track and sole original composition. A stark, spacious instrumental, 'Return To Center''s serenity is interrupted by maniacal laughter, assumedly Callinan's.
Recording was swift - tracking a song per day, with a few up the sleeve for overdubs, mixing and mastering. With a lengthy list of prior collaborators that has included Mark Ronson, Jimmy Barnes, Mac Demarco, Weyes Blood, Connan Mockasin and Alex Cameron to name a few, the open (garage) door policy was maintained for 'Return To Center'. First luminary to lift the shutters was producer Francois Tetaz whose zeitgeist work with Gotye is legendary. More than a producer to this project, Francois' enthusiasm to work with Kirin is in the DNA off his concept.
A cast of outlaws followed that included Drew Erickson, Benji Lysaght, Stella Mozgawa, Dave Elitch, Jasper Leek and Holiday Sidewinder, gathered in the garage of his temporary Silverlake abode, delighting in the perverse subversion of the capitalist system and the challenge of completing a record with such clear time and financial constraints. With the roller door open to the street just weeks before he was due to be evicted, they merrily blasted through the set with no time to second guess or overthink and as a result, 'Return To Center' retains an instinctive, vulnerable edge, emerging as Callinan's most tender yet celebratory record yet.
'Return To Center' glimmers with what Callinan describes as a "corporate spiritual" radiance. It is a punk rock meditation on record making, music past and present. For Callinan it slices through a contradictory and confusing year of exaggerations and misrepresentations to be his 'Return To Center'' - sounds, songs, lyrics, performance.
Whatever it is and however it was made, 'Return To Center' transcends to a triumph.
07 Jan, 2020
Kirin J. Callinan shares his new video for 'The Homosexual' in The Culture Files.
04 Jul, 2019
Kirin J Callinan on stunts, exhibitionism and being misunderstood: ‘Is this who I want to be?’
02 May, 2019
Mac DeMarco's show at Dreamland, Margate on 29th June, will also feature Primary Talent International artists:
...Kirin J Callinan
24 Apr, 2019
Today, Kirin J. Callinan announces his new album, 'Return To Center', out June 21st via Terrible Records. Following the previously released, melodramatic and heart wrenching 'The Whole of the Moon,' he now shares a new single, 'It Takes A Muscle (To Fall In Love).'
Originally a track by Spectral Display and recently covered by M.I.A., Kirin's voice saunters over twangy guitar and fluttering piano as he meditates about overcoming hardships in love.
'Return To Center' is a reconnection with that made Callinan fall in love with music over and over, and is a personal exploration of timeless songwriting. Following two albums of inimitable, challenging pop music that garnered global acclaim and marked Callinan as a singularly unique talent, it is ironically singing other peoples' songs that felt like the most truthful next step for Kirin as an artist. On 'Return To Center', Callinan's trademark flamboyance is cut with a newfound fragility that comes curled up in an attempt to do justice to the songs he holds nearest and dearest. Callinan, and the albums zeitgeist producer Francois Tetaz, rework both all-time favourites and last-minute spontaneous additions, songs that have shaped the artist he is today amongst songs that were jammed out of the blue in their Silverlake garage come studio, spilling onto the street with ideas, gear and talent.
'Return To Center' glimmers with what Callinan describes as a "corporate spiritual" radiance. It is a punk rock meditation on record making, music past and present. For Callinan, it slices through a contradictory and confusing year of mistakes, exaggeration and misrepresentations to be his "Return To Center".
"In August 2018 I embarked upon my most ambitious solo album to date, " says Callinan. "I, along with producer Francois T, said label head honcho Ethan S., creative consorts and L'Angeleno shred pigs, set out to purchase the most spartan assembly of instruments and studio equipment deemed necessary. That night, day zero, in an east LA garage; Travis, my trusted engineer, and I would set it all and power it up. Boxes stacked n' stocked away with price tags still intact, we began in earnest, honestly, on what would become an album worth of tunes that were and are even more so now some of the nearest and dearest songs to me. All within 14 days. All before our eventual eviction from that garage on 1024 Manzanita Street. All before our inescapable...'Return To Center'."
Callinan is on a North American tour in support of Return To Center. Then he will tour Europe and Australia.
24 Apr, 2019
Kirin J. Callinan will tour Europe throughout July, as both headliner & guest of Mac Demarco.
08 Jun, 2017
Kirin J Callinan's new video for 'Living Each Day' featuring Connan Mockasin, is featured in The Fader.
29 Apr, 2017
Kirin J Callinan's new video for 'S.A.D.', is featured in Pitchfork. Taken from his forthcoming second album 'Bravado', to be released on 9th June on Terrible Records.
27 Apr, 2017
Kirin J Callinan is on tour around North America with Pond, throughout April & May 2017.
27 Apr, 2017
Kirin J Callinan shares his new video for 'S.A.D.', taken from the forthcoming album 'Bravado'.
He is on tour in the U.S.A. with Pond throughout April & May.
30 Mar, 2017
We invite you to watch the much anticipated documentary on the legendary artist and visionary Kirin J Callinan, from the link below on Facebook.
"The comeback of the century." - Rolling Stone
"Goose Bumpy." - Mac Demarco
"A song so good it destroyed him, but now he's back, louder and more powerful than ever." - NME
"Mid 70s punk with 80s production... Top 40 Material." - The Go Betweens