The beat is alive with an intensity that is intimidating but not deterring. The spotlight quickly turns to Kelsie Kimberlin, who steps up to the microphone with a tremendous amount of confidence as she starts to sing the first lines of her new song “Fruit Basket.” Each word slips away from her lips and hits us with a glowing warmth that I could get used to quite easily. The enormity of Kimberlin’s presence is undeniable in this single and its companion music video, which is arriving on record store shelves at a time when it feels like pop is about to get a lot more boisterous than it has in the better part of the last generation (which is no small statement to make). Indeed, “Fruit Basket” is a star among Kimberlin’s growing discography, and for my money, it’s one of the sweetest new independently-cut pop songs that fans can get their hands on this month.
“Fruit Basket” is different from other singles that Kimberlin’s rivals have released before in that it demands a lot out of her broad vocal palate. The harmonies in this track are no joke, and you don’t have to be a music critic or even an audiophile to recognize that. Even in its most menacingly difficult moments, “Fruit Basket” is incapable of giving Kimberlin anything she can’t handle from a singer’s perspective (intentionally, I imagine), and she demonstrates just how slick her vocal style is in this single without being arrogant or particularly boastful.