Kin Ship, “Golden Dust”

Sjimon Gompers

Kin Ship

Kin Ship's Conor Belcher, Meghan Wood, Elliot Weaver, Julian Ciani, and Jesse Wallace get close. (courtesy of the band)

Kin Ship is a band of bonds that have been formed through various migrations, stages, and travels. Lead by Conor Belcher, their recent album, Where I Live is the cumulation of a group's friendship that developed into a band through the cross-country interstates of Ithaca, NY, to Olympia, WA, Nashville, TN, and everywhere else in between. In the premiere “Golden Dust”, the minutiae of days gone by and present are celebrated in a fancier take on the 'dust to dust' life cycle metaphors.

Conor with his Kin crew of Meghan Wood, Elliot Weaver, Julian Ciani, and Jesse Wallace share a song about the day to day life and philosophy of a factory girl. On “Golden Dust”, the working class morning to evening, weekday to weekday cycles are highlighted by hopped up rhythms and jovial morning lark lyrics like, “when she wakes up in the morning, she likes to sing.” Keeping true to the title, everything here shines, from dodging Sunday church service to arguments over house painting chores. Everything on “Golden” moves in cycles like seasons with an optimism that finds an ornate hope in golden returns. Cynicism is trumped in a song that depicts life as bountiful honeymoon, no matter the odds or tasks at hand.

Kin Ship's Conor Belcher walked us through the band's formation and adventures through Ithaca, Olympia, Washington, to Nashville, and much more.

Tell us about how you formed in Ithaca, NY, via Olympia, Washington to Nashville. How have these locales impacted your sound?

Kin Ship essentially started in Olympia, WA. Meghan [keyboards, vocals], myself and some friends moved out there in 2009 from Ithaca, NY as a kind of a funny, in-lieu of college adventure really. I had just turned 19 at the time and the experience made quite an impression on me; All of a sudden finding myself on my own in the Northwest was pretty wild. In retrospect I must have been in a pretty strange place back then as I was either at work or locked in my room that entire winter. To sum it up, I guess everyone I knew was sure I was going crazy but I was just making all these weird shitty recordings in my room. Many of those demos I found later and put together as, An Evening With C.K. Dexter Haven.

What is the creative band dynamic and kinship that you all share in Kin Ship?

As with any place Olympia got old, especially for our having very little reason to be there in the first place, and we moved back to NY for a while. This is when Kin Ship formally began to take shape. I think that this period had a lot to do with the sound we eventually came up with because we were all very excited and focused but at the same time were coming from completely different places musically and otherwise. It's a wonderful town to start anything off in I think, though after close to two years we had decided it was time to move on and that we were going to make the move together.

We had heard a lot about how great Nashville was from friends and other bands and all of a sudden [bassist] Jesse had a job offer from down there and seemed to disappear that same week. That was that really, and within six months we were all living in Tennessee. Nashville has opened our eyes to a lot of sounds that we probably wouldn't have gotten into elsewhere as well as help us to really strengthen our sense of what we want to be doing musically. It's a really exciting, growing scene that we have taken a lot away from.

What is the creative band dynamic and kinship that you all share in Kin Ship?

Though I tend to write the majority of the music, Kin Ship only really thrives on a group mentality. Its great because everyone brings something to the project even if it has nothing to do with music; Elliot is a great guitar player as well as a tailor in town and Meghan has a hand-painted sign business here. Being surrounded by people so talented in fields so beyond my own abilities and focus is really inspiring and I think it has a big impact on the way Kin Ship works and sounds together.

What was inception and recording like for the single, “Golden Dust”?

“Golden Dust” was actually one of the songs I recorded way back in Oly, though its gone through countless incarnations since then. The recording process for, “Golden Dust” and all of, Where I Live was all about taking the best of what we had been doing together, live and otherwise, over the past three years and recording it from our point of view at the time. This was all done in a huge house surrounded by a lot of really close friends during our first summer in Nashville and I feel that the whole record really reflects the way we were living and feeling at the time, culminating with “Golden Dust”.

What releases and projects do you all have in store for the world?

During the past six moths we have been steadily recording our second full length record as a group. The new material lends itself to being a much longer work in progress kind of thing, experimenting with a lot of influences and sounds I probably would have laughed at a couple years ago. Its been really rewarding for me to slow things down a bit and get more meticulous with things this time around.

The key to bringing the sounds of the best summer, and your dad's best records into the relevance of modern day ears?

That's really what its all been about for us, a marriage of quality, relevant music and everyone's private nostalgic daydream regardless what LPs you dad put you on to.

Kin Ship's album Where I Live is available now via Bandcamp.

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