Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Kiiara – Gold

I’d like to buy a vowel, Pat.


Alfred Soto: Clever stutter effect, which combined with the echo-laden Pharrell-indebted percussion and high vocal reveals its origins in hip hop. But it gets freakier as the vocal gets scratched repeatedly as it closes. A better record than performance.

Cassy Gress: The sparse beat and hollow echoing in the verses on this get a [6], but I hate that cut-up chorus, because it sounds like parts of it are just a millimeter off the beat, so it feels even more push-and-pull.  In the verses, she’s nervously saying “And if you love me, love me, but you never let me go”, and in the chorus she’s violently shaking me back and forth about it.

Maxwell Cavaseno: It’s a glitchy mess of jump-edits and pastiched words, sounding like someone took a razor blade to Ellie Goulding’s discography and wanted to make it as Tumblr-ready as possible. And for all the supposed amateurishness of the hit, it’s surprising how effective it is, but only in a novelty sense. Once you get past the initial weirdness, you get to sit on it as a song, and you find yourself with not much to support your listening.

Madeleine Lee: This sounds like the future by sounding exactly of-the-moment, and the lyrics’ mix of mondegreens (“caught up in my tea”?) and non sequiturs (“bodies on the pavement”?) is so bewildering it keeps the clichés (“the roof is on fire”) from landing like clichés. Maybe its cleverness is why I don’t like it.

Patrick St. Michel: Messing around with vocals — whether turning them into half-second slices that tumble over one another or pitch-shifting them down — can be interesting and result in great music, if you do something with them beyond just warping the human voice. Kiiara just uses these techniques as a signifier for “cool,” adding nothing to the music itself. 

Brad Shoup: The scrambled bit transcends a whole lot of things; she needs to drop Felix Snow and get with Futurecop. With references to gold teeth and bodies on the sidewalk, I can only figure she’s writing with the video treatment in mind. Snow contributes a pipeleak beat, but that glitchy hook is a flood.

Juana Giaimo: If a chorus is meant to be the sing-along section of the song, Kiiara broke the rules to make the catchiest chorus that can’t be sung — and it works therefore as a torture for the listener. She is not the first one who does so, but this defiant move is reflected in her attitude too. The chopped up vocals show that she isn’t here to be sentimental, but rather the opposite — “I missed you in the basement/but your brother was a good substitute.” She may be quiet, but she is also self-confident enough and won’t fear to play with your feelings.

Reader average: [6.88] (9 votes)

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