Domino Kirke may not have caught the acting bug like her sisters, but she did inherit their father’s musical gene.
The 34-year-old singer-turned-doula — who recently married “Gossip Girl” star Penn Badgley — is returning to her musical beginnings after a multiple-year hiatus dedicated to raising her son Cassius, 8.
Kirke’s first-ever full length album “Beyond Waves” debuted on Aug. 25, featuring 11 raw — and extremely personal — mellow folk-pop tracks, like “Half Blood” and “Friend of the Family.”
She told the Daily News that the making of the album was a bit selfish as she tackled feelings and ideas that have been swirling inside of her for ages.
Lola Kirke, Domino Kirke and Jemima Kirke pose with Domino’s son, Cassius, in an Instagram post from February 27, 2017.
“It’s a really quiet record, it’s a really gentle, sort of delicate record, you know, you really do have to listen to it to let it take hold of you because of the nature of the lyrics,” Kirke explained. “I like that about it because it really forces the person to listen, it’s not something you could just throw on — I mean you can, and you’ll probably feel sleepy and lulled to some sort of state.”
The elder sister of actresses Jemima, 32, of “Girls” and Lola, 26, of “Mistress America” and “Gone Girl,” said acting was never in the cards for her. Their father Simon Kirke is a famous drummer for bands Bad Company and Free, but Domino didn’t necessarily get into music to be more like her dad.
“I never really wanted to follow in his footsteps, in terms of lifestyle, but also the industry is so different now, it could never be like it was for my dad,” she told The News.
“I was definitely inspired by his creativity and his worth ethic,” the British-born musician continued. “I’ve always surrounded myself with really talented people and I think it’s because I grew up in a house where everyone who came through had an art or craft and maybe they were known for it, maybe they weren’t, but it wasn’t your average household by any means.”
She was part of the duo DOMINO with Jordan Galland shortly after being signed and their music was featured in Lena Dunham’s short film “Tiny Furniture.” Domino, who currently resides in Brooklyn, also recorded several EPs on her own and with friends over the years, but couldn’t really commit to her music career in full as a single mom.
“You know, I was really in the throes of the motherhood for the first eight years of my son’s life [AND I]just didn’t really know how to integrate creative endeavors into motherhood … so for me it was all about kind of like a time management lesson and I had the ability here and there to record with friends and make EPs, but never really had the time in my life literally, and emotionally, to have the space make a full length record,” she told the Daily News.
Domino Kirke and Penn Badgley in an Instgram photo posted on February 27, 2017, after the couple was married.
So, instead, she went down an unconventional career path as a doula — which is a person trained to assist a woman in childbirth and provide support after the child is born.
“It was something I felt really drawn to right after I had my son based on my birth experience and just wanting to be there for other people giving birth because it’s such a huge event,” she explained.
“People out of nowhere just started calling me and it was really like wildfire.”
Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr poses with members of the sixth incarnation of the All-Starr Band who are (L-R) Jack Bruce, Eric Carmen, Ringo Starr, Dave Edmunds, Mark Rivera and Simon Kirke during a press conference announcing their tour 01 May, 2000 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
(MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
Now, eight years later, Domino is phasing out of her duties as a doula, but runs a collective called Carriage House Birth where she serves as a mentor and teacher to other doulas in order to focus more on her music.
Thanks to Badgley’s help, and now that her son is older, this year became the perfect time to get back into things — even to do some touring and performances of Beyond Waves, a work she describes a “rite of passage”.
The new album was a longtime coming for the artist, who was signed after a set at Joe’s Pub in the Village on her 17th birthday. On Thursday, she’ll return to that stage, fittingly 17 years later, to perform her intimate tracks for the crowded theater.
Domino Kirke poses for a promotional image for her debut LP “Beyond Waves.”
Joe’s Pub — a classic New York outpost for artists — has always been there for Kirke.
“When I was pregnant with my son — very, very early in the pregnancy — I played there again… it certainly is a special room for me. I’m very grateful for that space, it’s always there. As I’m turning chapters in my life, I sort of start at Joe’s, it seems.”
Kirke takes the stage at Joe’s Pub on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m.