Since childhood Lola Kirke has never known anything other than creative expression. Born in London to father Simon Kirke, drummer of Free and Bad Company and mother Lorraine Kirk, owner of iconic West Village vintage boutique Geminola (an amalgamation of her three daughters’ names), Kirke first pursued a career in acting at the age of ten after moving to New York.
While major parts in Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America, David Fincher’s Gone Girl and Emma Forrest’s directorial debut, Untogether (slated for a winter release) have seen Kirke scale the Hollywood heights, this year marks something of a turning point as the actor-cum-musician releases her debut record, Heart Head West.
Citing blues troubadour Gram Parsons as a key influence, Kirke’s songwriting lays bare her own story, accompanied by the kind of cinematic, sweeping melodies that conjure images of open-top desert drives. “It’s a really personal record about basically everything I though about in 2017 – time, family, loss, social injustice, sex, drinking, longing – essentially everything I’d talk about with a close friend for 40 minutes.”
Here, Kirke traces five sources of inspiration that influence her work.
MUSIC: Jim Ford
“Jim Ford is one of my favourite singers. Like a lot of my favourite artists, I think he died cause he suspected no one cared about him and then drank too much. His Unissued Capitol Album is so stunning. It has Point of No Return on it which is a song I love so much I covered it and put it on my record!”
ART: Tschabalala Self
“We went to college together but never really hung out. Then I saw her paintings in the New Museum and was just blown away.”
FILM: Baby Doll
“Carole Baker’s performance in Baby Doll kills me.”
PLACE: Port Au Prince, Haiti
“Specifically Cite Soleil. It’s the poorest neighbourhood in the Western Hemisphere. I went a few years ago and met some incredible women working hard to do what the Haitian government won’t do, like bring food, shelter and education to underprivileged kids. They could all use our support!”
“There are over 2000 kids in the US that are STILL separated from their parents. Reuniting children with their families and fighting the rising tide of fascism in America are major priorities for me. Organisations like RAICES in Texas are on the ground helping to make that a reality. Check them out!”
Lola Kirke‘s debut record Heart Head West is out August 10th.