Kendra McKinley
It feels like the Bay Area saves its brightest tunes for the end of the year. We saw this in 2017 with the jubilant sax-fueled bridge of K Skelton’s “Leather Jacket” and John Elliott’s cautiously optimistic “End of the Year.” Though the song has been available for a bit now, the new video for Kendra McKinley‘s “Face To Face” makes for a tender and weird balm to 2018.

The video is also a captivating work (though, I must say, the Saran wrap near the face made me instantly nervous). It stars not just McKinley herself, but a handful of other Bay Area musicians with talent to spare in their own right.

Can’t say why, but something about this feels like a major leveling-up for McKinley. We’ve known she’s been a star for years — but the hazy psych sounds, the warm vocals, and extremely singable melody of this song, paired with the inspired video, makes me feel like this might make the rest of the world pay some damn attention to her.

“Face To Face” comes from her recent EP of songs recorded during her stay as an artist-in-residence at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. You can see her live with Monophonics at Sweetwater Music Hall next week.

Monophonics, Kendra McKinley
Sweetwater Music Hall
December 29, 2018
9pm, $27 (21+)