Los Angeles-based indie songstress Kina Grannis celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend by delivering her fans a trifecta of details surrounding her sophomore release. Driving fans to her Instagram feed through a week’s worth of subtle teasers, Friday’s announcement included an album title, album artwork and a release date. Elements – produced and recorded by Matt Hales (aka Aqualung) – will be released May 6th, 2014 via Kina Grannis Records and distributed through The Orchard.
Elements follows Kina’s breakout 2011 debut Stairwells and showcases a decidedly more mature sound. Aided by Hales, whose recent credits include work with Lianne La Havas, Alex Clare and Paloma Faith, Kina’s newest songs are filled with layered vocals and harmonies and lush, intricate soundscapes, while documenting a period of growth and change in her personal life, complete with an honesty and a vulnerability she’s excited to share with her fans. Says Kina:
In making this album I confronted a lot of things that, in the past, I would have run away from. It was a process that ultimately helped me create a collection of songs that I feel more deeply connected to than any I’ve written before and I’m beyond excited to have the opportunity to share this journey with all of my fans.
Kina will be supporting the release with a handful of intimate shows in select cities across North America beginning in May before hitting the road for a full US tour this fall.
While Kina has only recently announced her album details, she has already begun building momentum toward the release via her YouTube channel, where she has accrued more than 820,000 subscribers and 130 million views. “Kina Mondays,” which promises a weekly delivery via Kina’s channel, began last November as a way to begin building awareness for the eventual release. The video series has included original and cover interpretations, solo performances and collaborations. Kina’s cover of the mega-hit “Royals” was featured during the 2014 Grammy Awards broadcast, where it introduced Lorde’s “Best Pop Song” nomination. Kina also collaborated with Jason Mraz and Hunter Hayes during Hayes’ YouTube mash-up of “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me” and in the celebrity-heavy homage to Zach Zobiech’s inspirational “Clouds,” which featured musicians and actors, ranging from Bryan Cranston and Sarah Silverman to Sara Bareilles and Lumineers. Kina’s most recent addition to Kina Mondays features an album teaser, which hints at behind the scenes footage with Hales and includes a snippet of “My Dear,” from Elements.
Though Kina remains a force in the social media space, her reach extends far beyond your typical YouTube artist. Kina’s debut album Stairwells made several Billboard chart entries, peaking at #2 on Heatseekers and #12 on the Tastemakers Albums charts. Sales were fueled by album fan-favorite “Valentine” and her ingenious video for “In Your Arms,” a deliciously impossible stop-motion video that used 288,000 Jelly Belly beans, which landed her debuts on Late Night TV (Jimmy Kimmel Live!) and Daytime TV (Ellen) and a video of the year nod in Time Magazine. Her world tour saw her headlining sold out shows from New York to Los Angeles, London to Berlin, Tokyo to Sydney.
On Elements, Kina expands her sound and pushes forward, showcasing her growth as an artist and songwriter. Check out a trailer for the new album below – featuring a snippet of “My Dear” – and keep your eyes peeled for show announcements, coming soon.