Within a culture and industry of evolving software, collaborations between the acoustic and digital, and compromises between sound and accessibility, too often the simple mastery of an instrument is consigned to oblivion in the midst of overwhelming noise. Kain White exemplifies such a mastery, bringing attention to the magic that can occur when a man and guitar perform as one collective instrument in his album Watercolour Heart.
Pure talent is clearly seen within the first seconds of “Watercolour Heart,” the opening title track of Kain’s first album. Percussive techniques and adroit fingerpicking are combined into an upbeat, melodic song that fluctuates in tempo and dynamics throughout the entire instrumental. Kain wills each note, loud and clear, out of the strings of his guitar, and the care and practice put into his performance is evident.
Harmonics are featured in the intro of “Pity Sex: A Love Story,” a melancholy instrumental that for the first time, features strumming instead of straight fingerpicking. The balance between the two techniques is accompanied by interesting hand-on-guitar percussion riffs and shimmering cymbals.
Kain’s style is refined and more completely defined with each successive song on the album, including “Dear” and “Your Bedroom is a Bitter Suite.” The quick pace of “Like Glass, You Fell Apart” transitions into a slower, more deliberate motif. However, the conclusion of the song reverts back to the vigorous, powerful tone of the track’s intro, making for a truly diverse song.
The album comes to a close with “The Flower Crown,” arguably the best song on the whole album, and “Adieu,” a harmonious, slow tune that drives the sounds from the rest of the album home. All things considered, Watercolour Heart showcases a genuine talent and musical genius that is Kain White and his extraordinary guitar-playing abilities. His gift and poise cannot be taken seriously enough.
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