Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Lim Kim – Awoo

Awoo! (See a pattern forming here?)

Madeleine Lee: After a few years of stagnation, hip-hop producer Primary is on a hot streak this year: a collaboration EP with indie rocker Ohhyuk that took both of them into the outer reaches of their respective genres; a 3-song release last month with the perfect retro form of his now-classic album Primary and the Messengers; and now this song for Lim Kim, which doesn’t sound like anything either of them have done before. For Primary this means something completely new, and the little wink at “Johnny” is the only indicator that the fascinating dream-trap beat involves him at all. Meanwhile, Lim Kim sounds exactly like herself, only more aggressive and alluring than she’s ever been in a catalogue of peppy folk-pop and sleepy attempts at lounge. She pounces on the last sound of each line like it’s a new game or lets it drop like she’s already over it; She howls all up and down the track, confident on territory that belongs to her.

Maxwell Cavaseno: I’m fucking creasing every time I think about this song, because they have the cat thing perfectly. This is my Hallowax (miss you buddy); a slinky little weirdling playing around and being the rudest creature in the world, but still incredibly handsome. Lim Kim is the same way, sounding incredibly soulful even when basically just making animal noises, or saying lyrical headstumpers like “how the hypocritic foxes burn” (*Kanye screaming voice* THAT’S SOME RIMBAUD SHIT!). Primary is literally embodying the sound of some little douchebag sauntering down stairs, trying to get your attention because, let’s be serious guy, nobody’s more important than they are. It is a specific sort of sweet childlike wonder that, depending on the moment, can be adorable or obnoxious. I can’t yo.

Mo Kim: “Awoo” is all controlled foreplay and tail-shaking, Lim Kim calling the situation like she sees it in her sweetest deadpan over refrigerated beats and chilly computer-voice stutters. As always, the candidness is refreshing (there’s a lovely little popping sound that recurs every four measures, like a can of soda being cracked open), and I’m liking the newfound confidence and the playfulness: “They must hate me for no reason,” she coos on the bridge, and she’s never sounded more at ease with herself.

Cédric Le Merrer: Over the past three weeks I’ve listened to this song instead of transcribing interviews. I’ve played it when I should have been polishing a powerpoint presentation or doing a thousand other things. Instead I hit Youtube and type “awoo” one again, telling myself 3 minutes won’t hurt. The addictive sugar rush of the synth loop and the indolent vocals are validating: why not indulge in one more small gratification? I steal some time from the capitalistic earning grind and pour it into the capitalistic consuming hole. This is Lim Kim’s devilish plot and I submit knowingly and gleefuly. I guess the song is supposed to be about seduction but it revels too much in its own pleasures to really be about anything or anyone else. I should be writing a ten line autobiography to sell my incredible digital expertise. Instead I’m writing this.

Patrick St. Michel: Lim Kim plays it like trying to woo a lover is a game, one with a predictable path that can be beaten with the right prep. Clothes become power-ups (you try dress! It is embarrassing!) and the weaknesses in others become clears. Unwanted suitors becomes wolves and competition become foxes. It’s almost too easy — flirt, flirt, “you fall for me.” Simple, and maybe that is how most relationships start. “Awoo,” though, makes a predictable process sound alive and sweat-drenched, a reminder that routine can be as emotionally intense as the unexpected. Producer Primary takes the unnerving yip yaps of a Purity Ring song and turns them into nervous hair-raising touches. Kim, meanwhile, sings the chorus just right — joined by Primary’s mini-rave music, she sings what amounts to do-it-yourself directions but delivered like she can see victory on the horizon. There’s a giddiness in her voice that makes all the drudgery and nerves worth it.

Will Adams: The production has a lot of perk, but I just can’t get behind that hook; leave the she-wolf howling to Shakira, please.

Edward Okulicz: The song slinks and prowls and dazzles with unpredictable and pleasurable noises. I’ve listened to it a stack of times just to hear the details and marvel at the textures. Alas, that chorus, stuck between a purr and a howl, is itself just stuck between better bits to no end.

Iain Mew: Lim Kim has the world’s best robot a capella group in her closet, and she’s opening up and setting them free.

Reader average: [9.16] (12 votes)

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