Kirin J Callinan Performs ‘…In Absolutes’

Live from Happy

Kirin J Callinan swung by Noise Machines studio for an exclusive Live from Happy session to perform his song ‘…In Absolutes’


Kirin J Callinan Live from Happy

Enigmatic singer-songwriter and legendary guitarist Kirin J Callinan offers a tender rendition of ‘…In Absolutes’ for this week’s Live From Happy. 

Of all the terms used to describe Kirin J Callinan’s music, ‘unpredictable’ seems to be the enduring throughline.

The Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist and provocateur’s latest album ‘If I Could Sing’ certainly delivers on that same sense of unpredictability, ranging from appropriately unhinged synthpop to poignantly vulnerable guitar ballads, all within the space of 12 kaleidoscopic tracks.    

This spirit of versatility has sustained Callinan’s decades-long mainstay in the industry, with a list of collaborators that includes American pop phenom Caroline Polacheck and homegrown heroes like Genesis Owusu, among many others.

Sometimes, even Callinan himself is responding to his creative whims spontaneously. “I wasn’t sure what to play,” he says of the impromptu decision to perform ‘…In Absolutes’ for his Live From Happy performance. 

“This one seems as ill-prepared and difficult as possible, so we’ll do this.” It’s this same impulsivity that makes Callinan a consistently enigmatic and enthralling creative force, but that’s not to say his work is without intention.

The track had its genesis in Callinan’s teenage years, with the musician returning to it many years later “…whilst really high in Zihuatanejohigh, Mexico,” Callinan tells us. 

The song certainly retains that ethereal and intoxicating feel, with shimmering chimes and the guitarist’s ever-enrapturing riffs, but it’s the emotional lyrics that keep ‘…In Absolutes’ grounded in Callinan’s personal experience.

For him, it wasn’t “…until a personal heartbreak [that] the song made sense to me again and I filled in the blanks.” 

It fills in yet more shades of Callinan’s technicoloured artistry, and while ‘…In Absolutes’ is one of his more tragic cuts, the musician never loses sight of the free-wheeling fun.

“I’m sorry if I didn’t hit all the notes,” he laughs. “The album is called ‘If I Could Sing’, and still nobody really knows.” 

Find out more about Kirin J Callinan via his Instagram.