Katy Kirby will headline a Manchester gig at YES following the release of her latest album Blue Raspberry earlier this year.

Blue Raspberry marked the New York based singer songwriter’s second album.

Across its 11 tracks it explored intimacy – from the growth to the collapse of new love, taking in, dwelling on and embracing every aspect of it, both good and bad.

Many of the songs that make up Blue Raspberry stemmed from a single page of lyrical fragments, words and phrases that kept their hold on Kirby even as she slipped them into multiple settings. Images repeat on different songs throughout the album: cubic zirconia gleaming at a woman’s throat, the lab-grown substitute indistinguishable from earth-crushed diamonds; salt crystallizing as seawater dries on reddened skin; teeth that shine in a grin and then bite till they bruise. These refrains and reprises lend a tight narrative cohesion to the record, elevating its sharp queries into all the unlikely shapes love takes as it surges through you.

The beginnings of the album were borne in its title track, Blue Raspberry, which landed at a time of awakening for Katy Kirby.  As she explains, “Blue Raspberry is the oldest song on the record. I began to write it a month or so before I realized, I think I’m queer,” she says. “There’s a tradition of yearning in country love songs. I like the male yearning songs better, usually. I started writing Blue Raspberry, and I was thinking about, if I was in love with a woman, what would I love about her?  Especially if she was someone that I couldn’t touch, but that I was pining for. What would I be caught on? And I thought that I would probably be particularly charmed by the choices she made on how to look after she woke up in the morning. I thought about tackiness, and the ways that’s a dirty word. That’s where the title comes from — loving someone for those choices, for the artificiality.”

When putting the album together Katy Kirby worked with her band to create an appropriate sonic palette complete with orchestral moments arranged by Rowen Merrill.  It led her to comment, “I felt like I was intending to write love songs for the first time. Once I realized they were queer love songs and celebrating artificiality, I wanted them to sound like they were bidding for a spot in the wedding reception canon,  It was more fun to just go for it than to try to restrain ourselves. Especially if we were just accepting the fact that we were trying to make objectively.”

The album landed strong critical acclaim and media praise across the music world.

When does Katy Kirby headline at YES Manchester?

Katy Kirby headlines at YES Manchester on 12 June 2024.

Manchester gigs – Katy Kirby – image courtesy Tonje Thilesen