Interview: Lola Kirke Talks Discovering Country Music, Embracing Its Simplicity

Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP

As the daughter of Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke and younger sister of Girls co-star Jemima Kirke and singer-songwriter Domino Kirke, Lola Kirke grew up around creative minds in London and New York City. She furthered her family's reach into the entertainment world this decade, playing a prominent role in the 2014 film Gone Girl and turning heads last year with her folksy, songwriter-driven album Heart Head West.

This Friday (Sept. 13), Kirke embraces a longtime interest and introduces her family to a new audience with her first foray into country music: A five-song duets EP titled Friends and Foes and Friends Again.

Like a lot of other 20-somethings, Kirke accidentally discovered that country music is okay to like by delving into the music of today's garage-punk tastemakers and past psychedelic twangsters.

"I heard the Jack White and Loretta Lynn record when I was like 13, Van Lear Rose. I think that made country music cool to me in a way I had never considered," Kirke says. "I grew up in in New York City, and I wasn't surrounded by all that much country there. Then I discovered Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers, and that opened up a whole world of everyone from George Jones to Johnny Paycheck. I've always loved Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn, and The Band are my favorite band. All of my favorite music owes itself to country music in a lot of ways."

Diving head-first into writing country music barely changed Kirke's creative process. She simply added some twang to songs about a couple of country-appropriate topics: mama and matters of the heart.

"For me, that form kind of comes naturally," Kirke adds. "It's a simple form and a clear way of putting forward what you want to say and feel and having a little fun with it, too."

Each song features collaborators ranging from Wet singer-songwriter Kelly Zutrau to former White Denim member Austin Jenkins. The latter brings Kirke's interest in garage-punk and country crossover moments full-circle by contributing to a cover of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen's "Seeds and Stems."

Kirke's EP arrives Friday via Downtown Recordings. The next night in Nashville, she'll play her country-tinged songs live for just the second time during her 8:30 p.m. AmericanaFest showcase at The Anchor.

Friends and Foes and Friends Again Track List

"Mama" (feat. Kelly Zutrau)
"Win It" (feat Lilah Larson)
"Shoulda Cheated" (feat. Brent Cowles)
"Seeds and Stems" (feat. Austin Jenkins)
"Cocaine" (feat. Audrey Turner)

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Interview: Lola Kirke Talks Discovering Country Music, Embracing Its Simplicity