Music | Katie Kim live in Dublin’s Unitarian Church


The soft light throws forty foot shadows along the interior church wall. Window glass reflects the orange hue. But otherwise, all is dark.

We sit in pews. Our backs to the unused organ, which – like the father – observes the scene, unobserved. Hands are clasped in prayer. Torch light scatters up the walls, and across the roof. Mystery is afoot; and our torch-bearers seek it revealed.

The Salt album launch occupies a special place in Dublin – the Unitarian Church. The space works, fit for the quiet Salt sounds, and giving meaningful experience to our congregation.

Tonight we do not hear the album we know; it is stripped. The album is dark and droned, produced with a distinct industrial sense. There is a magic. Here the compositions are raw, and beautiful. There is just piano and guitar: a white Fender Jazzmaster. And then the voice – incomparable.

Here we get ‘Ghosts’, the album’s moody opener. ‘I Make Sparks’, a star on the record, is remarkable. Behind the music, visuals are illuminated live. Amongst the humans, there is water and green-leaved branches of trees. The event is quiet, and words are honest. The congregation know it.

For here is community. Individuals collected, unknown to another, celebrating lives and art. How many would-be friends or lovers could here meet? How many life-long bonds could form, out of the music? With these songs, Eco’s pendulum could swing above, silently in the dark, magically unnoticed. Diagonally, it glides back and forth through the space between the columns and buttresses, in rhyme with the sound of honest mystery.

‘Day is Coming’ exceeds the others, both tonight, stripped as it is, and on the album. The repeated occultic chant of the song’s title transfixes, and its magnificence is multiplied in the dark. The pendulum swings.

In church we pray to the deity, for the unravelling of the mystery. The salt in our bodies, blood and veins is part of that. Tonight, the spiralling crescendos and harmonies of the album raises the ghosts of hundreds. And from out our salty bodies, the ghosts rise aloft, to and through the church roof.

Conor Purcell is the editor of Wide Orbits. This piece was originally published on State.