While essentially a rock album, Next of Kin has a magical iridescence - Oscillating and shifting dramatically between sounds and genres over its fourteen song track list, the album glistens with sheens of alt-country, pristine pop production, and richly layered rock maximalism.
The first Bellows album to feature a constant full-band presence bolstering Kalb's home recordings, the album channels the immediacy and intensity of the band's live performances. Songs like 'McNally Jackson' and 'Dawn at Central Park' marry Kalb's penchant for contemplative, almost literary narration with lavish, kinetic composition. But it's Next of Kin's climax 'Thumb in the Dam' that is the album's thematic centerpiece: as Kalb realizes he's lost a sense of his own self-hood in a deeply enmeshed romance, crossing and confusing identities with a lost love, the album ends with a recognition of identity as perpetually in flux, with change itself being the only constant force.
Marijuana Grow / No One Wants to Be Without a Person to Love / My Best Friend / Rancher's Pride / Death of Dog / McNally Jackson / Such a Secret / Biggest Deposit of White Quartz / Dawn at Central Park / Beautiful Spring Day / In a Ballet / Admiration / Thumb in the Dam / Botticelli's Venus