Katy Kirby Explores Artifice On Her Glimmering New Song ‘Cubic Zirconia’

Katy Kirby was on our 2021 list of Indie Artists To Watch thanks to her hypnotic debut album Cool Dry Place. She’s toured with acts like Sun June, Ada Lea, and more; now she’s back with a new song after signing to the label Anti-.

“Cubic Zirconia” has Kirby’s signature charm and tranquil energy. In a statement, she explained that the glimmering track is about love, admiration, and diamonds. Read what she said:

“I’ve been trying to write this song for nearly four years, but it only came into focus for me when I fell in love with a girl for the first time. It’s an attempt to say something that I don’t think I’m smart enough to articulate outside of the song — something about how much I admire when someone is unembarrassed of being explicit about the cosmetic and aesthetic choices they make for themselves. Why wouldn’t you love the little tricks of their trade — the way they wear makeup, the clothes and mannerisms that make them feel safest and most themselves — why wouldn’t these little tricks be the most endearing artifacts of their inner essence? If you loved someone, why would you not love those choices? It’s an honor to get that close to someone — close enough to see how they construct the image of themselves with which they move through the world as best they can (as we all do). Why wouldn’t that be enough?

Cubic Zirconia! A lab-grown diamond. A salute to whatever the world looks down on as “artificial” — even a defense of artifice. It seems like naturalness is not only a dangerously vague and subjective concept, but that whenever those concepts get invoked, the invoker is almost invariably being manipulative or even malicious. Insofar as the line between authentic/fake, natural/unnatural, organic/synthetic artificial/genuine is hopelessly thin. Insofar as it’s a line that shifts constantly and doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s interest except the people who’ve decided that they’re the most qualified to draw that line. What a useless concept. What an extremely suspicious concept to leverage in assessing someone’s worth. What a sanctimonious little scam!”

Listen to “Cubic Zirconia” above.