Ears Wide Open: Halo Kitsch

Halo Kitsch (Photo by Dillon Jordan)

Halo Kitsch is a pop/rock diarist whose songs range from sad to strident while deftly avoiding assignment to any particular genre cubbyhole. In fact, she said in a recent interview, “I want my music to sound like how the inside of my closet looks. Dirty, ripped jeans, floral, black and pink and glittery, fringe, denim, lace …”

Halo Kitsch is the solo project of 24-year-old Katrina Kerns, who grew up in Agoura Hills writing songs on piano. She attended college for three years before dropping out due to boredom, then worked as a waitress, bartender and holiday photo booth attendant to scrape up the dough for her first studio session.

Her gritty/pretty new song “Do You Feel Like A Sinner Yet?,” a collaboration with producer Ben Zelico, is her fourth single. After starting the song with some nonchalant whistling, the singer begins dissecting a relationship in convincingly resolute fashion. By the time the church-service handclaps and the caustic guitar kicks in, you’re sold.

“Through the exploration of self-discovery, I finally found vocabulary that defined the contagious toxicity of a co-dependent love trap,” she says of the song. “With the same pain it takes to grow, I reflected on the cyclical nature of what felt like a sinking rock bottom. Isn’t it ironic how the abused becomes the abuser? In hindsight, I suppose I wrote the song to myself as much as to my partner. After all, two wrongs never make a right. So, the question I pose is, ‘When have you had enough?’”

Speaking of enough, Kerns has also worked with Ely Rise (Lady Gaga), Doug Schadt (Maggie Rogers), Jo Caleb (99 Souls) and others, and an album is on the way in the new year.

||| Stream: “Do You Feel Like a Sinner Yet?,” “(Wasted) On the Moon” and “Flawless”