The Nashville-based musician Katy Kirby has a handful of songs up on Bandcamp, one of them being “Tap Twice,” which originally appeared on an EP a couple years ago but has been re-recorded for a new version that’s out today.
It’s a pretty great song, and one well worth revisiting, a simmering folk track that starts out hushed and tender but explodes into fireworks by the end. It’s about stubbornness and learning to open yourself up, and Kirby structures the song like a gentle unraveling. “I tap twice on your doorframe and you let me in/ I tap twice on your forehead and a heart appears,” she sings in the chorus. “It seems like you’re only high, when you’re holding your breath/ You’re only bright when you’re broken in half.”
Here’s a statement from Kirby on the song:
Tap Twice is about the formation of unspoken agreements in a new relationship, the process of silently negotiating with someone what you might mean to each other, and what happens when negotiation turns into an arm wrestling match over how much you’re willing to reveal. About the weird rapport that develops as you’re circling each other this way (unless it’s all in your head?), triangulating data from small gestures and two-word texts, analyzing the face smiling at you from a profile picture, reading into the murky details of an internet persona. It’s about sooner or later accepting all this as part of the territory–learning to live in that spooky interpretive space with someone, respecting it as a part of the deal you’ve struck up.
Listen via GoldFlakePaint below.
“Tap Twice” is out now via Keeled Scales.