When Kaki King went into the studio in upstate New York to record the tracks for her fourth album, Dreaming Of Revenge, her producer, Malcolm Burn, had one condition: “He said, ‘If someone can’t be sawing a log in half and whistling along to the song, I don’t want it on the record,’” King recalls with a laugh. And so the bar was set. Burn’s mandate was just the push King needed to make her most accessible CD yet. “Even though half the tracks are instrumentals, I feel like I’m writing pop songs,” she says. “We really concentrated on the melodies. Everything I write tends to be dense and chordal, but this time the idea was to layer the challenging guitar work under very simple, beautiful melodies. I really wanted them to be memorable.”
That strict attention to song craft is a logical step for King, whose previous album, 2006’s …Until We Felt Red propelled this dazzling young guitar player and composer, known to instrumental music fans for her finger-picking, fret-slapping, and percussive thumping style, into previously uncharted indie-rock territory. Produced by post-rock kingpin John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea and Cake), Red was filled with lush, ambient soundscapes that “sound like the abstract, dreamy, and hypnotic end of alternative rock,” as the New York Times noted in its review.