EP Review: Kilo Kish’s MOTHE EP
Florida Artist Returns From Hiatus with Six New Tracks
It has been roughly two years since Kilo Kish released her first commercial album, Reflections in Real Time, after a myriad of shorter projects and collaborations with artists like Vince Staples, Childish Gambino, and Flatbush Zombies. Since then, the budding art-pop powerhouse has been mainly silent, save for a few features on projects like The Gorillaz’s 2017 LP Humanz, and Vince Staples’s Big Fish Theory. After her art exhibition in Los Angeles earlier this summer, fans were told that new music was on the way, and the EP is finally here. At six tracks long, MOTHE EP takes many of the musical spaces explored in 2016’s Reflections in Real Time and expands on them to create a diverse set of fleshed-out tracks.
MOTHE begins with “San Pedro,” a brooding track that acts as Kish’s meditation on the choices that have led her to this point in her life. Her light and airy vocals contrast well with the minimal, yet powerful guitar tracks reminiscent of a ‘90s indie rock band like The Breeders. Vince Staples even makes a guest appearance over some synths at the end of the song. Just like Reflections in Real Time, Ray Brady lends his production on every track on this album, including the second track “Like Honey,” where Kilo Kish ponders the purpose of the artist, and who art is made for in the internet age. Kish sings “More and more, / I want more / Just Want More / Boxed in / It all depends / Will I find your / Lips speaking to my needs?” over an almost claustrophobic sounding synth and drunk arrangement, whose style greatly departs from the more palatable cuts from Kish’s discography. The instrumental sounds like it could double as an energetic EDM anthem, the occasional breakdowns drowning in a cornucopia of static and vocals.
The EP then transitions appropriately into “Void,” a track that begins as upbeat with repeating chiptune-esque melodies and hi-hat-laden drums. As the song progresses, the speed of the track gradually increases, building up tension before releasing it with MOTHE’s fourth track “Alive,” an easy-going and laid-back track that sounds like a cut straight off of Kish’s 2014 EP Across. The song features punchy kicks, beaming synths, and perhaps Kish’s most infectious melodies yet. “Alive” is a song about love and the artistic process, a subject that becomes abundantly clear when the track takes a startling turn into the introspective realm when Kish asks herself, “I don’t get it / ‘Course you get it / I could make it / Will they get it? / ‘Cause their attention / Is like a / nanosecond / And I can’t blink twice / Without re-assessing something.” Similar to Kish’s last song to do this, “Existential Crisis Hour!”, these moments of self-doubt are both eerily harrowing and humorous at the same time. Before MOTHE ends with the elaborate and humongous “Prayer,” Kish delivers the penultimate track “Elegance.” To put it simply, “Elegance” is a banger, and there is not much else to say about it. In an interview with HighSnobiety, Kish tells the interviewer that “ ‘Elegance’ is purely just about being a person in 2018 … it’s an ode to invention and the power of the human mind … the collective mind as a whole,” and while the listener could interpret the lyrics as being relevant to one facet of life or the other, at the end of the day “Elegance” is truly just a great song that features some insane bass and synth tracks, as well as Kish’s signature sing-rapping.
As a Kilo Kish stan, I had extremely high expectations for this EP. After hearing her perform some of these songs at last year’s Renn Fayre, I anxiously awaited the release of this project. This EP exceeded every hope, dream, and expectation I had, and has left me hungry for the next Kilo Kish project, whenever that may be. Every track was clearly defined, not overly minimal or overblown, featuring unique and diverse instrumentals. This project was brimming with talent and personality, and the only thing that I wish was different about it is that it was longer. If you’re a fan of experimental music, hip-hop, R&B, or electronic music, be sure to check out MOTHE if you haven’t already. It is a wild six-track journey that will leave you diving deeper into Kilo Kish’s projects, wanting more.