Plain Folly is many things. Unadjusted, thoughtful, sometimes dreamy, sometimes eruptive. But above all: DIY as fuck exclusively. Irina Kühn aka Plain Folly writes her own songs, plays almost all instruments herself, even partly produces her own music. Her melancholic pulsating indie prism creates its very own niche between Fiona Apple, Phoebe Bridgers and Florence + the Machine, carried by her versatile voice and her artful piano craft. Thus, her music becomes strikingly deep, a surging ocean of associations and emotions, sometimes beautiful and sometimes threatening. There is light, but not without shadow. There is pain, but not without hope. Sometimes shape-shifting as feather-light, sometimes as driving indie pop with a focus on her powerful voice and her great talent on the black and white keys, sometimes as an eruptive rock catharsis, and sometimes as an urban trip-hop fairy-tale. Her new album, due out in 2023, sets self-doubt and transience to music, boldly facing the storms of life alone despite all their heaviness – a wholesome, musically beguiling act of self-empowerment. Plain Folly: against all odds forevermore. And a fabulously exciting new indie discovery.
The evocative OUT OF TUNE oscillates between Kate Bush, Regina Spektor and Tori Amos. Part lullaby and part Southern saloon ballad with a ravishing piano arrangement, Plain Folly takes a strikingly offensive, physical, demanding approach here: A blazing, desiring, decidedly feminine love song about two people who can’t let go of each other. Although they really should. Plain Folly’s very personal Murder Ballad between Ravel and Americana.
APART is a gripping song about the walls around us. About the trenches we’ve drawn, intentionally or unknowingly, and now can’t seem to bridge anymore. Heavy drums and distorted bass, with infectious vocal arrangements above them, seem as if Imagine Dragons, Bishop Briggs and Billie Eilish had made a collective effort. A tense, feverish art pop aura slightly reminding of Goldfrapp underscores the bewitched, otherworldly conundrum between the separation of two people and an alienation from oneself. “Fix your within to find your way out”: a song like a mantra.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve liked to escape into fantasy worlds when the real world was unsatisfactory,” says Plain Folly about the inspiration for PHOSPHOR. She explores the differences between escapism and loss of reality on a journey into her own subconscious, using her full, versatile voice. Wavy synths, lush Eighties drums by Moritz Müller and shimmering energy accentuate the toxic trip into her inner ego, placing the song somewhere between Chvrches, Paramore and Mutemath. “I’m wishin’ for somethin’ that I won’t ever have – but closin’ my eyes I can see the lights.”
“But there must be something more”: With BREAKING CLOCKS Plain Folly succeeds in creating a furious, passionate indie anthem against self-doubt and resignation. “Time goes by and I feel that my life is not going the way I would like it to. And what do I do? I try to ignore it and smile it away,” says Irina Kühn about the first song she ever wrote for Plain Folly. Pushing drums, evolving piano and her pervasive vocals, despite all the serious memento mori mood, nevertheless spread a stirring carpe diem thought: my life belongs to myself alone. Self-empowerment has rarely sounded so captivating.
Tales Of A Hundred Thoughts (Album)
Focus Track: Still Here
We don’t really move. We run, but without a destination. We are Sisyphus day in and day out: “Still Here” describes the paralysing feeling of trundling through this ridiculously short life without orientation. Quicksand thoughts, written during a dark period when Plain Folly couldn’t get off the ground. An evocative verse opens into a big, surging chorus, accented by violin and cello: “A hundred ways but still no road to take – A hundred thoughts but still no words to say”.
Music & Lyrics written by Irina Kühn
Except for “One Step Ahead”: Music written by Irina Kühn & Christian La Cascia
Vocals, Piano, Keys, Guitars & Bass by Irina Kühn
Additional Guitar on “Breaking Clocks” by Andy Newman
Drums by Moritz Müller
Mix & Mastering by Tom Schenk
Produced by Tom Schenk & Irina Kühn
Pictures by Alena Blass & Dominique Brewing & Cindy Kay
Artworks by Alena Blass
“Breaking Clocks”, “Phosphor” & “Out Of Tune” by Philip Jonathan Schwarz
“Apart” by Moritz Hahn
(for detailed Video Credits, please read the YouTube Video Description)