Album oozes smiles and pleasantries
Europeans are hearing plenty of smiley Stephanie Kirkham’s work, probably more than you are. Her new song Easy As 123 is featured on adverts for Peugeot and EDF on the continent, something which has given her a welcome platform in other countries.
When I spoke to her, she was sitting in her Cornish home slightly bewildered that Tiny Spark, her third record, was due for release. The other two CDs Kirkham has put out did not light the way to stardom and she has dedicated just as much time to seeing her career as an artist take off. Each track on the Tiny Spark album is accompanied by a unique piece of art, crafted by Kirkham as she sits on the beach listening to her music. The original artwork and prints of it are available to buy – but so is the record, and you choose whether to pursue music or art on the homepage of her website.
Tiny Spark certainly deserves attention and is undoubtedly the happiest record I’ve heard in some time. Every track oozes smiles and pleasantries, with plucky pop piercing the room in the shape of a Cheshire Cat grin. Tracks such as Best Time Ever, Happy Ever After and I Ain’t Got No Time For That are impressive, the latter being a homage to Moby and the album Play that inspired her so much.
The incessant, smiley utopia can be hard to tolerate, though, particularly if you’re not in such a good mood. But Kirkham told me she does experience massively upbeat moods and wanted the album to reflect that, at the last minute changing the cover from a somewhat melancholy beach shot to a close up of her smiling face.
It hasn’t always been all smiles for this artist who has now found so much joy in the natural surroundings of Cornwall. She has been through some harder times in the last 10 years that passed since her first record, That Girl. But perseverance pays off, especially if it’s matched by raw talent. Tiny Spark is a fine record, with lovely music framing her pleasant, smiley voice.