Vows (album)

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Vows by Kimbra.png
Studio album by
Released29 August 2011
Recorded2008–2011[citation needed]
LabelWarner Bros.
Kimbra chronology
The Golden Echo
Singles from Vows
  1. "Settle Down"
    Released: 10 June 2010
  2. "Cameo Lover"
    Released: 29 March 2011
  3. "Good Intent"
    Released: 15 August 2011
  4. "Warrior"
    Released: 4 May 2012
  5. "Two Way Street"
    Released: 17 May 2012[2]
  6. "Come into My Head"
    Released: 20 September 2012

Vows is the debut studio album by New Zealand recording artist Kimbra. The album was recorded between 2008 and 2011 and was released on 29 August 2011 in New Zealand, and on 2 September in Australia by Warner Bros. Records. Vows has spawned 3 charting singles, "Settle Down", "Cameo Lover" and "Good Intent".

Vows charted at #3 on the RIANZ Albums Chart in its first week after release, with "Settle Down" re-entering the singles chart at #37.[3] In Australia, the album debuted at #5 on the ARIA Albums Chart, later peaking at #4. Vows has been certified Platinum in Australia for shipment of 70,000 units and Platinum in New Zealand for sales of 15,000 units.

On 4 May 2012, the album was re-released with six new songs, new mixing and was mastered by Colin Leonard in Atlanta, US. It was released in Australia as Vows: Australian Tour Edition to coincide with her winter 2012 tour and included 6 previously unreleased songs.[4] This edition of the album was released in New Zealand on 11 May 2012 as Vows: Deluxe Edition.[5] On 22 May 2012 Vows was released to the North American market, debuting at #14 on the Billboard 200. The album artwork including body art and illustrations were created by Rhys Mitchell and Raphael Rizzo.[6]

Writing and Development[edit]

Kimbra was originally discovered by her soon-to-be manager, Mark Richardson at the age of 17. Shortly after being discovered by Mark, she moved to Melbourne, Australia to follow her path in the music industry, signing with Forum 5. Kimbra started recording and writing the album in 2008. The album's lead single Settle Down was the earliest song she had written, being when she was sixteen years old. Kimbra recorded the album at her home and other various studios throughout Australia. The songs on the record follow a theme of love, loss, romance and want.


Musically, Kimbra was heavily influenced by Björk, The Mars Volta, Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and others during the creation of Vows. She wanted the album to have an overall jazzy feel, thus trying make a record that pushes boundaries but still be considered "pop music". She found Nina Simone as a huge inspiration for the track Plain Gold Ring. Kimbra has said many times that she chose the singles for this album by visualizing music videos for each of the songs and chose the top six ideas. The genres of the album consist of indie pop, soul, jazz, and art pop. Kimbra has stated the following quote as a summary of the album's concept and overall feel:

"Vows say a lot about who you are, and even more when we choose to break them."


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[8]
Entertainment WeeklyA[9]
Filter Magazine(83%)[10]
Herald Sun3.5/5 stars[11]
Paste Magazine(7/10)[12]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[14]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[15]
The AU(8.5/10)[16]
The Guardian2/5 stars[17]
The Music Network(favourable)[18]
The New Zealand Herald4/5 stars[19]

The album received generally favorable reviews, obtaining a normalised score of 72 out of 100 from Metacritic, based on reviews from 16 selected mainstream critics.[7] Lydia Jenkin, of The New Zealand Herald's Time Out magazine, gave Vows 4/5 stars, praising Kimbra's "exciting vocal experiments on this colourful debut with impressive range".[19] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone gave a positive review of the album, comparing the material to that of Björk.[14]


  • "Settle Down" was released as the album's lead single on 10 June 2010 and was re-released on 1 November 2011. The song peaked at number 37 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.
  • "Cameo Lover" was released as the album's second single on 29 March 2011.
  • "Good Intent" was released as the album's third single on 15 August 2011. The song peaked at number 98 on the Australian Singles Chart.
  • "Warrior" was released as the album's fourth single on 4 May 2012.[20] The song appears on the Australian Tour Edition/New Zealand Deluxe Edition and the standard North American and European editions of Vows. The song peaked at number 22 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.
  • "Two Way Street" was released as the album's fifth single on 17 May 2012.
  • "Come into My Head" was released as the album's sixth and final single, with a music video released on 20 September 2012.[21] This song was also featured in the ending credits of the 2013 movie The Heat.


The album artwork including body art and illustrations were created by Rhys Mitchell and Raphael Rizzo. It consisted of Kimbra's body painted white with black body art on, and standing in front of a white background.

Track listing[edit]

1."Settle Down"Kimbra Johnson, François TétazFrançois Tétaz, M-Phazes4:17
2."Cameo Lover"Johnson, D NigroJohnson, M-Phazes, Ryan Ritchie, Jimi Maroudas, Michael Tayler4:02
3."Two Way Street"Johnson, TétazTétaz4:28
4."Old Flame"Johnson, TétazJohnson, Tétaz4:27
5."Good Intent"Johnson, TétazTétaz3:32
6."Plain Gold Ring"George StoneTétaz4:02
7."Call Me"Johnson, Mark LandonM-Phazes, Johnson, Michael Tayler4:32
8."Limbo"JohnsonJohnson, Tayler3:51
9."Wandering Limbs" (featuring Sam Lawrence)JohnsonJohnson, Tayler5:26
10."Withdraw"JohnsonJohnson, Jimi Maroudas, Tayler4:06
11."The Build Up"Johnson, TétazTétaz5:02
12."Somebody Please" (hidden track after 1:00 of silence)Johnson 2:20
Total length:50:09


  • Track listing and credits from album booklet.[25]

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Somebody That You Used to Know: It's Kimbra's Time to Shine on 'The Golden Echo'". Spin. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Amazon.com: Two Way Street: Kimbra: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  3. ^ "RIANZ CHART 1789 05 September 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  4. ^ "VOWS Australian Tour Edition". KimbraMusic.com. KimbraMusic.com. 30 April 2012.
  5. ^ "VOWS Deluxe Edition In New Zealand!". KimbraMusic.com. KimbraMusic.com. 3 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Kimbra - Vows (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  7. ^ a b "Vows Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Vows - Kimbra : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". All Music. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  9. ^ "Kimbra Vows". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  10. ^ "Vos Review - June 2012". Filter Magazine. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  11. ^ Adams, Cameron (1 September 2011). "Album review: Vows by Kimbra". Herald Sun. Melbourne: Herald and Weekly Times/News Limited.
  12. ^ "Kimbra: Vows". PasteMagazine.com. 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  13. ^ Chiola, Enio (28 September 2011). "Kimbra: Vows". PopMatters.
  14. ^ a b Jody Rosen (22 May 2012). "Vows - Albums Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  15. ^ "Slant review".
  16. ^ Fuamoli, Sosefina (24 August 2011). "Kimbra - Vows (2011 LP)". the AU review. Heath Media & the AU review.
  17. ^ Carnwath, Ally (22 July 2012). "Kimbra: Vows - reviews". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  18. ^ Reid, Poppy (14 September 2011). "Album Review: Kimbra, Vows". The Music Network. Peer Group Media.
  19. ^ a b Jenkin, Lydia (8 September 2011). "Album Review: Kimbra, Vows". The New Zealand Herald: TimeOut. APN Holdings NZ. p. 18.
  20. ^ "iTunes - Music - Warrior - Single by Kimbra". iTunes. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  21. ^ Kimbra - "Come Into My Head" [Official Music Video]. YouTube. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Vows (Australian Tour Edition) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  23. ^ "iTunes - Music - Vows by Kimbra". iTunes Store (United States). Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  24. ^ "iTunes - Music - Vows by Kimbra". iTunes Store (United Kingdom). Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  25. ^ Vows (Booklet). Kimbra. Warner Bros. Records Inc. (Cat no. 9362495476). 2011.
  26. ^ "Kimbra - Vows". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Kimbra - Vows" (in Dutch). Ultratop / Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  28. ^ "Kimbra - Vows" (in French). Ultratop / Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  29. ^ "Kimbra - Vows". billboard.com. Canoe.ca.
  30. ^ "Kimbra - Vows (album)". dutchchart.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Kimbra - Vows". charts.org.nz/. Hung Medien.
  32. ^ "Top 20 New Zealand Albums Chart The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ)Incorporated.
  33. ^ "OLiS - Sales for the period 09.07.2012 - 15.07.2012". OLiS. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  34. ^ "Kimbra - Vows". billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media.
  35. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums 2011". ARIA. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  36. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums 2012". ARIA. Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2012 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  38. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Kimbra – Vows". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 13 September 2014.