Born in Taiwan, Kim started her Australian music journey in 2016 in the streets of Canberra. Driven by a desire to share her stories with the world, Kim picked up her ukulele and started writing songs. She stepped out of her bedroom and into the streets, markets and cafes of Canberra. Since then, Kim has also lent her voice to various musicians/groups such as Michael Misa, Muddy Wolfe band and Groom Epoch.
Her original blues song ‘Life of a Working Man’ in the Muddy Wolfe debut EP, Vol. 1 (2019) was played on Triple J radio twice in a week after the release.
Following Canberra’s Floriade and Enlighten, Kim played her first festival gig at the 2019 National Folk Festival as one of the featured ACT artists. She then released her debut EP Ocean of Mind in May 2019. After a sold-out debut EP launch show, she went on an EP tour in major cities with gifted local support acts.
After an exhausting 2019, Taiwanese-Australian singer-songwriter Kim Yang was looking forward to a well-earned holiday on the South Coast. But mother nature had other plans. Kim became one of the many people trapped in Eden on New Year’s Eve.
Garden of Eden is about Kim’s experience of that night. The song is focused on the invisible damage caused by the bushfires. Kim’s words highlight the trauma and anxiety caused by the oppressive smoke and uncertainty. This experience was shared with hundreds of thousands of people from Mallacoota, to Canberra, to the Blue Mountains, and beyond.
This song was written as part of Kim’s healing process. She wanted to put her anxiety into words and let others who felt the same know they are not alone. The impact of the bushfires on the mental health of Australians was truly horrific. By sharing her story, Kim hopes to highlight the importance of talking about trauma and supporting each other.
Starting with just a guitar and ethereal vocals, the song gradually layers on a foreboding cello and haunting piano notes. The music continues to build with spellbinding melodies and instrumental arrangements that feel equal parts complex and sparse. Garden of Eden is a slice of pure listening bliss and an emotional core that paints a vivid picture of Kim’s experience.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to escalate, themes of anxiety and trauma are more relevant than ever. Like many others, Kim has lost work, including an appearance at the 2020 National Folk Festival. There is no better time to help each other and let others know how you feel.
“I’m so proud of what I have achieved in this song. It’s different from my debut EP (Ocean of Mind), where I performed and recorded live organically in one go then added other instruments later. This time I got excellent musicians work to collaborate with me. This song is recorded and produced by Canberra’s own award-winning musician, producer and sound engineer, Guy Lilleyman, who also features on piano for this song. I was also luckily able to get my good friend Tabitha Hart to play cello, which really added the depth I was looking for.
I used to be a shy person. I buried my feelings and refused to open up to others. But music and song writing have helped me express myself. My mission is to encourage all people to be comfortable with themselves, and to be confident enough to embrace their passions and share their stories. Once you do you will find that your stories and experiences resonate with many others.” – Kim Yang
(Photo credits to Corinna and Dylan Photography)