Pop goes Kenna.
And Kenna goes pop?
“I know, right,” says Calgary singer-songwriter Kenna Burima, sounding almost surprised. “That happened accidentally.”
She’s talking about the somewhat more sprightly and springy musical direction taken on her wonderful sophomore album Hymn.
“It’s an expression, but I wouldn’t say that the expression is overtly spiritual in tone,” says singer-songwriter Kenna Burima in describing her forthcoming sophomore album,Hymn. “To me a hymn is an ode and I started playing with the idea of what hymn is. All of the songs I’ve written are about specific things that have happened in the real world and in my life. And, even though I don’t practice any religion, I’m certainly drawn to religious music. From an academic perspective, I find that kind of stuff interesting.”
Kenna Burima knows that while it may all be over for her, for many more others it’s just the beginning.
When she announced on Thursday the complete list of tunes that made it to the Calgary Songs Project: 30 Songs Celebrating 30 Years, she did so understanding that’s when the debating and second-guessing would truly start.
In fact, before she did, she admits there were some sleepless nights and early mornings wide-awake and second-guessing herself.
“I’m laying there thinking, ‘Well, this is it, this is where people are finally going to hate me,’ ” she said over a pint at the Wild Rose Tap Room just finalizing it. “I’ve finally done it.”
Kenna Burima is up for the challenge to turn Calgary’s perfect playlist into something that can be chimed by the Calgary Tower’s carillon.
Burima’s soon-to-be crafted tunes are part of the 30th anniversary of One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo.
Why she’s a 2015 Top 40:
Through her love of music and performing, and basic, unflagging hard work, Kenna Burima has built a career as a musician, helped create the Carol of the Belles Christmas concert and programmed the city’s Downtown Piano series.
In 2012 Kenna Burima, the Calgary-based musician behind this ominous track “The Wolf Is the World”, performed at the opening of an exhibition called Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination. The exhibition brought together a group of artists whose work was inspired by myths, fairy tales, and science fiction. “Much of the work in the collection blurred the lines between what we consider ‘human’ and ‘animal,’” she told us. “It was an amazing, exhilarating exhibition that introduced me to the work of feminist American artist Kiki Smith.”
Visit Pop Matters for an exclusinve premier of Kenna Burima’s “The Warning”Though lounge jazz is one of the first reference points that comes to mind upon hearing Canadian songwriter Kenna Burima’s “The Warning”, her primary influence for the tune comes from a different corner of music’s darker side. “I was listening to a lot of Black Sabbath while I was writing songs for the album. When I say a lot, mean A LOT,” Burima confesses. “I’m a tad obsessive about learning something in its entirety, so I had decided that I was going to transcribe their entire Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album with all of [Tony] Iommi’s solos. I got about halfway through the album when ‘The Warning’ came to me”.