The Buckle Downs Say It's OK To Walk Away

Kiki Brown is the powerhouse lead singer for soulful jammers The Buckle Downs. Brown is a force behind the microphone.

She seems to ooze confidence, but that wasn’t always the case. She used to play a more passive role in what went into the songs before they came out of her.

“If you think I’ve been doing this forever, I have not. This was definitely the first time I’ve ever led a band. Ever! Now that I’ve gotten a little bit more comfortable with the concept of being a lead singer – which is still very nerve-wracking to me – I wanted to incorporate my ideas up front a little bit more, rather than waiting for something to be handed to me,” says Brown.

Brown took a much more active role in writing with the band’s latest batch of songs – an EP called “There It Is, Vol. 1” which follows up their much-acclaimed album “Hard Truths.” That active role in the writing process changed something inside of her.

“I think that accounts for why I feel a lot more confident. It is because I’m able to do so much more and give so much more than I was before,” says Brown.

That change is evident on “Know You Better” – a song that didn’t become whole until Brown gave it a taste of her darker side.

“'Know You Better' started out as kind of like this, you know, up-beat, poppy little thing and I am drawn to darker, minor-y sounds. I am not drawn to upbeat, poppy things most of the time. In true Kiki fashion, I like gut punches. So, I figured, well, if it’s going to sound all happy and poppy and dancey, I’m going to add the dark to it that I would like. So, lyrically, I added dark,” says Brown.

Don’t be surprised when this dark, gut-punch of a song makes your toes tap, though. In fact, that juxtaposition of negative and positive was intentional. Brown wrote the song after letting go of a relationship. She found that saying goodbye to someone she loved was the best thing to happen for them both.

“It’s OK to cut something loose even if you love it. Even if it’s something that you can get something good out of sometimes. If that thing has run its course, walk away. It’s OK. You’re not walking away out of hate. You’re not walking away out of spite. You’re walking away out of self-preservation, but you’re also giving that person space from the relationship that they thought they needed to stay in with you. And that’s where that song really kind of came from. It wasn’t meant to be mean, it was just meant to be factual,” says Brown.

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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week