On the Spot: Kaki King

Kaki King’s latest album, “Glow,” showcases her guitar prowess.

Kaki King doesn’t just strum her guitar. On her sixth studio album, “Glow,” the Atlanta-born musician pounds the instrument like it’s a drum, tapping manically along the neck and thumping its body rhythmically. King’s energetic performances have made her one of the most inventive and unpredictable guitarists in indie rock.

How many guitars did you use on “Glow”?
We brought out 12 or 13 different guitars, but all the songs were written on two or three — a tiny 12-string and then the six-string I use quite a bit.

Why did you gravitate to the 12-string?
It just has this amazing sound. It doesn’t sound like a normal guitar. You just touch it and it starts to write songs. It opened up a lot of creative potential.

Did you intend to make a purely instrumental album?
If I’d had a song that wasn’t just a guitar song, then I would have added vocals. But I didn’t want to force it or try too hard to make that happen. Writing doesn’t really happen well when there’s too much intention.

“Glow” puts solo guitar at its fore. Was that a reaction to the full-band sound of your last album, 2010’s “Junior”?
I like to do things different every time. When I do a record, it’s really just taking a photograph. This is what the songs sounded like on this day. But they always change.

The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW; with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Fri., 8 p.m., $15-$20; 202-803-2899. (Shaw)

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