Kuri’s Scott Currie dives into his intimate and expansive, cinematic and smoldering sophomore album ‘I Love You, You’re Welcome’ – a refreshing deep breath of warm, cathartic indie folk wonder.
Stream: “Modern Mayhem” – Kuri
There’s a striking depth to Kuri’s sophomore album: Written and recording in the basement of his childhood home, these songs resonate with the warmth of the familiar, they ache with the nostalgia of time’s distance, and they burn with the urgency of the present. At the core of this record is a soul’s raw reckoning: The unraveling of the artist’s own story unfolds before our eyes as he embarks upon his own therapeutic inward journey of reflection and reconnection, acceptance and understanding, growth and healing – all to a stunningly cathartic and singular indie folk soundtrack. Intimate and expansive, cinematic and smoldering, I Love You, You’re Welcome is a refreshing deep breath of warm wonder.
A thousand miles an hour
in the confines of your room
Where even if you wanted to
there’s nothing you could do.
And you try to slow the moment
while you’re fighting to escape it
All you find are memories
You’d rather not exhume
Released October 21, 2022 via Nevado Music, I Love You, You’re Welcome is the resounding and resonant new album from longtime Atwood artist-to-watch Kuri. The musical project of Vancouver-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Scott Currie, Kuri is a unique voice in the indie folk world – his captivating sound and colorful lyricism similar to some, and yet distinct and unlike anyone else in his field. Both an artist to watch and one of our Editor’s Picks, Kuri established himself as a talented, inimitable artistry throughs songs like 2019’s “Sort Sol” (“a lyrically ingenious, musically mystifying cinematic folk masterpiece”) and 2020’s “What’s More” (“a genre-defiant burst of dramatic energies and sweeping sounds that tickle and tease the senses”).
“There’s no denying the fresh feeling and pure passion rippling through Kuri’s new music,” we wrote in January of last year. Those words hold even truer today, on the cusp of I Love You, You’re Welcome’s imminent release. Kuri kicked off his album cycle with August’s lead single “Collider,” opening the floodgates of curiosity with a radiant, immersive array of smoldering horns and driving drums. He followed that up with September’s “I Don’t Wanna Sing About Love,” a captivating exploration of the negative impacts we can have on our surroundings, and our desire to ignore them and avoid taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions.
I Love You, You’re Welcome is an inherently inward-facing album.
Inspired by the endless amount of downtime he spent in isolation over the past three years, Kuri’s second studio LP was recorded in the basement of Currie’s childhood home in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Beyond that, Currie played all the instruments on the record himself.
As he explains, this album is quite a long time coming. “I don’t know if I could string together a specific “story” behind the record, but the underlying theme has been about healing for me,” Currie tells Atwood Magazine. “Taking a look at former selves and giving them the space to hash things out. I wanted to feel things I maybe hadn’t given myself the time to feel for a some time. I think I noticed a feeling that while I may have given myself the energy to feel and accept things within myself, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to express those outwardly and integrate that healing into practical action… I think on this album, there’s a whole lot of anticipation of forward movement, but not a lot of actual forward movement just yet. It’s sort of the moment before taking off.”
“This record went through many changes and rearrangements over my time recording it. A lot of songs removed and re-added, whittled down to what it is now. It was a very frantic work process so I just worked on what felt like I needed to work on in the moment, and that naturally made things a little more disjointed than other projects I’ve worked on.”
“I think I used to obsess a lot about making something feel BIG and MEANINGFUL – and I think I couldn’t help but continue that, haha, but I know I tried to focus in on that a lot less and instead just wanted to make pretty songs with cool sounds. obviously on my last album there were lots of strings and arrangements and that happening a little less in this record. On this album, I tinkered. I just wanted things to sound fun and I wanted to have fun making things that sounded fun.”
I Love You, You’re Welcome is without a doubt a “fun” record, but Kuri never sacrifices a moment of substance or depth.
“I think what distinguishes this album from the last is honestly the simple passage of time and my natural growth as a human,” he reflects. “There are things I can’t help but do when I create music, and that’s what make my music sound like ME. But with the changing of the seasons and my changing and growing as a person, I’m just going to feel different things and express those things in new ways. This album adds to my catalogue because it’s new!” he laughs.
Interesting, Currie knew the album’s title before he wrote a single piece of music.
“It has meant several different things to me along the way. It was initially meant to be a funny jab at how we often subconsciously expect/demand praise in return for something that should be given freely. To say I love you, you’re welcome to someone is basically saying, “aren’t you so lucky to have me”. But as I started writing and creating during the pandemic, I went through a very intense personal transformation and started relating to it very differently, and the songs came out differently. There was this sense that I was writing these songs almost as a farewell to a past self. The change in me came from a place of love for my former self, and was meant to honor where I had come from. “I Love You, You’re Welcome” transformed into a sort of loving farewell saying, ‘I love us and where we’ve been, but it’s time for us to step into something new.‘”
Currie further calls his new album “a song cycle about fearing transformation, fighting transformation, accepting transformation, and embracing transformation… I was writing these songs to a past self, realizing that I’ve been living in a way that is hidden and not fully authentic or fulfilling. It’s not all nice transitions. Sometimes it’s looking at unhealthy things.”
Those inner depths are exposed on all eight of these songs as Kuri unapologetically dives into his past and present selves. Currie notes a line from the album’s penultimate song, “I Try Not To Be Swallowed Whole” as his lyrical highlight: “So I’m left without a mask, lain naked earth to skin.” “Every time it comes up while I’m singing it, it feels good coming out,” he explains. “To be maskless and connected – that’s the vibe.”
Meanwhile, he cites an absolute favorite in fifth track “Falling.” “I remember making falling and humming and hawing at whether or not it worked or should even be on the album. But every time I listen through and it comes up, and just feel a nice lil warmth. That and the meowing sounds in ‘Collider’ – see if you can catch ’em.”
Settled in my hide away
In my blithering
Here sequestered in my room
No one speaks without warning
Perfectly tempered concealing
what anyone else would despise
And I’ll wake in the morning
Blithering til I die
The more I seek my fate
The more I blunder
As I fall into the distance Time after time
It feel I’m falling all of the time
Stutter through my darkest days
With my enemies
Still to venture from our youth
No one leaves without scarring
But we’ll wake in the morning
Blithering til we die
I Love You, You’re Welcome was without a doubt a cathartic, deeply personal artistic achievement for Kuri, and it is now out in the world as a musical, emotional triumph that promises to stir the heart and move the soul in tandem.
“If people want to just put it on and enjoy the sounds, that’s lovely. If people want to hunker down and face their demons in the safety of their bed and cry for a bit, that’s lovely too,” Currie shares. “I wrapped this album up last October, so a year out, I think I learned that I still take the creative process too seriously. I remember thinking I was making one thing, and it coming out as something else. At the time I as disappointed, but songs will be what they will be.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Kuri’s I Love You, You’re Welcome with Atwood Magazine as Scott Currie goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his sophomore album!
Stream: ‘I Love You, You’re Welcome’ – Kuri
:: Inside I Love You, You’re Welcome ::
“‘Collider’ for me is about small genuine curiosity. But having curiosity can feel very big when there’s so many uncertainties, especially when you’re in an environment that doesn’t foster that kind of thing. It’s natural to want to carve out little spaces for ourselves to seek and explore. But this song is really about wanting the floodgates to open… ‘I don’t want brief moments of exploration; I want everything. I wanna find out.’”
I recorded the song by myself in the basement of my childhood home. In the same space I spent hours after school just scratching the surface of what music could offer. It was a long and weirdly painful process during the pandemic. I remember at one point pulling out old VHS tape and watching old footage of my brothers playing floor hockey in full equipment in that same basement – I was two at that time. I decided to include some of the audio from my brothers celebrating after a goal.
A lot of this album was written about the past. I remember when I was young always immediately immersing myself in anything new. And with limitless new things to immerse myself in, I often felt unquenched. Being a kid it often meant changing hobbies and sports, but entering young adult life it meant seeking answers to endless questions and realizing the world I grew up in was a lot smaller than the world around me. It just made me want to explore… ‘How much can one life hold, and how can I hold onto more?’”
I Don’t Wanna Sing About Love
“I Don’t Wanna Sing About Love” is about hiding from the consequences of our actions. We participate, we harm, and we seek to distance ourselves from the impacts we have on the world around us. Singing “I Don’t Wanna Sing About Love” is pointing to that fear of guilt. It can be hard for people to appreciate and engage with these realities – people want to think they’re inherently good – so they end up running away, still inflicting wounds in the process.
For Now (Interlude)
I wrote this song in grade 8 or 9. The peak of my initial dive into finding meaning by recording music for hours. I thought it was a great transition into modern mayhem, and song specifically about high school.
I had never really written a song “about” being in high school, and I felt it was time to do that. I think writing songs IN high school is a lot different than reflecting after the matter. This song in particular is about the ways I would mask myself, as many people do, and the ways in which I would find comfort and freedom in the “confines of my room.” We all found ways to fit in and find a sense of belonging, even if that meant sacrificing things we loved about ourselves. It was valuable for me to write about those experiences, as a sort of inner child healing exercise. You’re so IN IT in high school. Creating space to let those things go in adulthood is very valuable.
This song ends up being a similar reflection to modern mayhem, but ends up being a bit more of a pandemic poem. – It’s not about covid or the pandemic, it just came from my time insolation. – iIsolation brings us very lonely safety, which is so hard because as humans we’re so used to finding safety with one another. I often find in myself a desire to be alone, because It’s less vulnerable, and yet theres often still something missing.
All Things Become Funny
The reflection was simple, how might it feel to meet me as myself, without knowing me. It was a practice in acknowledging my strengths as a person.
I Try Not To Be Swallowed Whole
Existing at all, is a hell of a job. Even once you’re fed, the dishes are done, the bills are paid, and you’re sitting with yourself on the couch. To not be swallowed up can seem impossible.
This song is just fed up tomfoolery. We exist in a very strange world that is very strange to navigate. And I know a lot of folk in their mid 20s-30s don’t exactly feel the most prepared.
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? © Camille Candia
:: Stream Kuri ::