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Girl K, 'Departures'

Girl K's Kathy Patino likes to have fun. It's evident in her ability to infuse a somber ballad about leaving someone with the eager feeling of possibility. Whether or not the paths of star-crossed lovers ever merge again, the Chicago indie pop rocker — along with drummer Tony Mest, bassist Alex Pieczynski and guitarist Kevin Sheppard — has "Departures" to hold on to during the wait. Off Girl K's latest release, a six-song EP by the name of Girl K Is For The People from Take This To Heart Records, "Departures" draws strength through its resistance to stability; the EP's closing song never stays still, rippling and morphing through melancholic synth-soaked '80s melodies, rocking jam sessions and cooing vocal breakdowns.

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LaTesha Harris is NPR Music's editorial assistant. A relentless jack-of-all-trades, she takes turns writing, editing and producing music coverage. Invested in the culture behind pop, hip-hop and R&B, her work highlights the intersection between identity and history. Once in a blue moon, Harris moonlights as a talking head with no filter.