That’s how New York City based singer-songwriter Val Kinzler describes herself in an interview with “Monkey Radio with Marc“.
It is spot-on. And insufficient.
In what may be one of her most earnest and revealing interviews, the husky-voiced singer — with a vocal style somewhere between Janis Joplin and Debby Harry — talks process, poetry and pain. She also clings to her full body of material, even if it threatens to confuse newcomers to the whirligig that is her alias “Valkyrie”, because it shows her path and gives context. And because the music is part of who she is even when not in front of a microphone.
Kinzler’s style is all over the map. But that’s not a lack of control. And surprisingly it’s not even a shortcoming. It’s growth, and exploration. It’s also a result of working with numerous producers, bands and collaborators over the years. One can listen to a song like her latest “Rock and Roll Women” and hear a Joan Jett like trajectory. Then there’s “Apocalyptic Vibe on the Lower East Side” and suddenly you’re in a mosh pit in your own head. But waitaminnit, then there’s gut-wrenching performance piece “Broken Ballerina“, and you’re utterly confused. And impressed. And you realize that like a great recipe, the various seemingly unrelated ingredients collaborate and blend together into a something wonderful and delicious, because of the skills of the artist. It seems implausible that, despite her body of work and performance schedule, this artist hasn’t yet been thrust into a larger spotlight.
The singer sings from a raw core, and you feel it, you see it. Her music is inspired and shows an primal confidence which masks her apparent but natural anxiety of matching up her intense desires with results, all while staring passing years in the face and trying to stay sexy but not provocative, daring but not careless, relevant but not pretentious.
More than anything, there’s a competence in her musical knowledge that shines through each piece. In fact, when challenged with an improvisational game “Make up a Song” during her interview with “Monkey Radio with Marc”, within seconds she has written a viable song with a solid melody, rhyming verses, a message, and most of all—a soul. The summarily impressed host Marc Raco urges Kinzler to develop the song further.
Although she possesses the finely tuned skills of a musician, singer and instrumenta-player, Kinzler isn’t simply a musician. Or a “rock and roll woman.” She not a poet, or an actor, or an improvisor, or an entertainer. She’s entirely all of those things. And the proper term for that is: Val Kinzler.
From a newcomer’s perspective, Kinzler seems very close to figuring out who she’s going to be as an artist. And it took her entire journey to get to the point of being able to do so. There seems to be no “almost” with her—only “what must be”. It’s delightful to think that tomorrow there might be a different flavor to the recipe. Yet the “rock and roll poet” will still be flying within her own airspace, because for her the sky seems to be the limit.