Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Lykke Li – Hard Rain

April showers bring… mild controversy?


Katherine St Asaph: I blame Triggerfinger, and their #1 hit via Lukas Grahamization of “I Follow Rivers,” for Lykke Li never since releasing anything like her best song. But who do I blame for this Bon Iver/Jhene Aiko mush?

Cédric Le Merrer: There’s a wonderfully sensual song in there, full of tension and longing, sounding like emotions held back and feeling like rain. I’m freezing listening to it. And then there are the trap parts which I don’t know what to think of, which are about not knowing what to think. They cast a big doubt over the feelings being felt, over the wiseness of letting them out, but also over that whole song as a musically satisfying object. As artsy things go, making me unconfortable, reflexive and unsure is a thematically appropriate achievement. As a song I’ll go back to for enjoyment in the future, I can’t say.

Alfred Soto: Listening to this is like holding uncooked Quaker Oats between your fingers. 

Ryo Miyauchi: It hasn’t ever been a surprise that Lykke Li’s up to date with radio pop and R&B — a memorable song from her I Never Learn tour was a cover of “Hold On, We’re Going Home” — though she laid them relatively separate from her own work, up until “Hard Rain.” The hymn-like rain/ocean refrain recalls classic Li circa Wounded Rhymes, yet these voices glitching underneath distorts her song to sound instead like Charli XCX’s digital-age yearning from Pop 2. While her new tricks sound too borrowed, she keeps enough of her familiar voice to make it all work.

William John: It’s in the spaces between the flurried words of Lykke Li that “hard rain” is most compelling; her insecurities are spat out in intermittent scrambles and disguised with layers of her own processed voice, while the punctuation marks — lonely, droning, brushing noises, or the doleful blip of what sounds like a submarine — try to keep a steady pace, waiting for the next download of vulnerability. It’s effective contrast that emphasises the limits of self-reflection; the articulation of one’s doubts or internal turbulence has value, but only so long as the occasional pause for breath is taken.

Edward Okulicz: Threatens, momentarily, to turn into a take on Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek,” when a small mass of Lykke Lis swells together. That is to say it threatens, momentarily, to do something vaguely interesting.

Will Adams: Pleasantly meanders between soft vocoder sketches and something approaching trap Sigur Ros. Unfortunately, it never really materializes into a song.

Iain Mew: This kind of mercurial, light-touch genre mix is pretty much exactly what extrapolating Youth Novels to 2018 would predict. It’s only the emergence and shrugging off of such a compelling and specific vision in between that makes that underwhelming.

Reader average: [4] (4 votes)

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2 Responses to “Lykke Li – Hard Rain”

  1. yeah this one was a bit… there for me

    Deep End is the one

  2. this is heartcrushing and a 9 easily sorry everyone