Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass with Kirsten Price

Things have been a little stressful of late for British soul songstress Kirsten Price. So much so, in fact, that she’s already set aside time to lose her sanity.817presspassKP.jpg

Things have been a little stressful of late for British soul songstress Kirsten Price. So much so, in fact, that she’s already set aside time to lose her sanity.817presspassKP.jpg

“I think I’m going to spend December in London having a mini-emotional breakdown,” Price says of her planned return to the townhouse in which she grew up. Warn the neighbors accordingly.

Such is the stress facing pop stars in the formative times leading up their first release. Price’s debut album, “Guts & Garbage,” hits stores July 1. She just wrapped work on her first video with Indiewood Pictures for “Magic Tree” – a single that seems certain to blow up should she find the right label to light the fuse – and she’s about to embark on a promotional tour that brings her to Arlington’s IOTA Club & Cafe on June 30.

With all the action, the hype machine is gaining steam. She’s already received a sterling review from Billboard that labeled her “a new star in waiting.” Nevertheless, there is something about this scenario that makes Price just a tad uncomfortable.

“We’ve been glad that a few things have been catching fire, but I’m in it for the long haul,” Price says. “I think it’s kind of a curse to be shot out of a cannon and really have tons and tons of exposure when you’re first off.”

The curse comes by way of grand expectations for everything that follows that early success. Right now the hurdles are quite high enough as Price and her newly formed band are just working out the kinks of the live show.

“In the beginning it was really hard because it was a studio project and it was really heavily produced,” Price says. “I hate going to see a show where you’re expecting one thing or you heard one thing and then you go and see it if it’s completely different. So it’s been a constant struggle to get the live show to sound more and more like the record.”

Authenticity is imperative to Price, who acknowledges the modern music landscape often values image over substance.

“We know that everything, especially in pop music, is very stylized. Things are airbrushed and Photoshopped and everything, especially image, is being manufactured from the perspective of objectifying the female form … ” she pauses to sigh. “It’s a given that you’re going to be molded and objectified and bent out of shape and all that kind of thing. But women are really allowed to define themselves much more than they were. I think it’s just a question of whether they choose to do that or not.”

Price, whose mother was once a model and forbade Kirsten from following her into the industry when she was offered in high school, says the thought of marketing her beauty has not crossed her mind and that she’s more worried about working on her music.

“Plus I’m not photogenic,” she says. “It’s really hard to take a good picture of me. I have one of those weird faces.”

She’s wrong about that bit, but her emphasis on her art has already paid dividends on “Guts & Garbage.” Price’s sultry voice blends with roiling rhythms and some hot-and-heavy hooks to create a seductive summer album that might require a post-listen cold shower. To be frank, the sexy soulfulness of Price’s pipes will sell songs far better than her body ever could.

“Crazy Beautiful” beats with the heat of a summer club dance-floor, complete with some steamy whispered breakdowns bound to bring bodies together.

The mournful, bluesy intro to “5 Days Old,” tempers the album’s heat with a cautionary chorus whose toe-tapping rhythm belies the lament of the lyrics.