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Brad stank juxtaposes the sensual, the spiritual, and the sad in his second album Kinky Om. With this strange yet smooth collection of songs, the eccentric Liverpool artist has created a record that while irreverent on the surface, is imbued with tenderness, subtlety, and depth.


Listen now: Brad stank – Kinky Om


“The ‘kinky’ came from my persistent desire to attain this sort of half-spiritual, half-sexy vibe that runs throughout all my music,” says Brad about the eyebrow-raising title. “I’m sure a Hindu yogi would say there’s no place for sex if you’re trying to reach God, but I’m running with it and making the idea as beautiful as I can.”

Kinky Om may sound like a joke, but a deeper listen reveals much more. ‘Ultrasensual Bliss’ encapsulates the surprisingly earnest intent behind the ostensibly irreverent marrying of sexuality and spirituality. The song centres on the discipline, mindfulness, and necessity of self-knowledge that are prerequisites for deep connection, as Brad sings, ‘if you wanna feel this love then focus on the flame/if you wanna feel this love then give up on the game/if you wanna feel the real pain, my love, it’s ultrasensual bliss.’

It’s impossible to miss the sensual side of the record with its slow, shimmering sounds,  and overt sexual themes. Yet other, unexpected moods also permeate the record: pain, loss, and grief. Brad was a former bandmate and close friend of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading of Her’s, who tragically died in a road accident last year. The record was also written in the wake of a friends’ suicide, and a break-up. The feeling of loss is acute on the tense and bare penultimate track, ‘I had…’.  Struggle and sadness appear almost fundamental to the clearly sexual ‘Ultrasensual Bliss,’ most pronounced in the line “we’ve cried and cried and cried.”

Sonically, the record is defined by the artist’s restrained baritone vocals, and a combination of indie, pop, and jazz instrumentals, from the bossa-influenced, ‘Sat on the Moon’ to the pop banger ‘Breathing like a Baby.’  The subject material may be emotionally intense, but musically this record is a comfortable listen, that’s sensual, subtle, and sweet. Benefitting from production by Saam Jafarzadeh, it’s easy on the ear.

The stand-out thing about this record is Brad stank’s ability to find congruence and meaning in disparate experiences and emotions, both painful and pleasurable. It’s this that makes the mystical Kinky Om resonate so deeply.

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