Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Kali Uchis – Telepatía

Chalk this up on the “good” side of the ledger for Things TikTok Has Made Popular.


Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: When I saw Kali Uchis live in 2019, she performed on a multi-tiered, rotating platform on the center of the stage. It was extra, but it fit her energy. Unlike her alt-R&B contemporaries (the Jorja Smiths and Jorja Smith soundalikes of the world), Uchis has a certain campiness to her style, an exaggerated, arch sensuality that informs her every note. She’s not chill in any sense. That’s amply shown by “Telepatia,” where, in spite of a lite-disco beat from Tainy that evokes Shura’s white funk more than anything else, she sounds luxuriant as all hell. With every strung-together note she sounds perfectly in control of the track, elevating her surroundings into something almost fantastical. It’s a similar job to what Debbie Harry did on Blondie’s best work, taking commonplace musical environments and taking them higher with sheer charisma.

John Seroff: In a rare case of TikTok being used for something good, Kali Uchis’ blunted drivetime Adult Contemporary magic carpet ride “Telepatía” has spun from a deep album cut to an international hit. My druthers would’ve been for something a bit less obvious and more wonky to blow up — maybe her cover of La Lupe’s “Que te Pedi?” — but I’m happy to wave the flag for most anything that gets her seen and paid more.

Frank Falisi: Sidewalk chalk scrawl as soon as the rain starts. Somehow it’s brighter, for just a moment? Okay now it’s getting fuzzy? Not like the fadey-kind of fuzzy, like actual, like tendrils. It’s reaching. Now it’s smearing but if I get my face real close I can see it shaving off down the pavement and into the green of the grass. Seepage and trickle and I feel a little buzz; I hope the soil is ready!

Alfred Soto: “Vibing” the kids call it, and when Kali Uchis previously tried it the sleep indices often pointed leftward. This time her comfort with Spanish and an excellent English bridge transform the proceedings. Lovelorn but suspicious — a crucial mix.

Julian Axelrod: Every so often the mysterious hand of fate points in the right direction, and the best song off Kali Uchis’s under-recognized December surprise blows up on TikTok. Even in a 10-second clip, her sonic fingerprints are instantly recognizable: gauzy synths from the pawn shops of yesteryear, sweet nothings purred in English and Spanish, the language of longing sighed through an air of indifference. But this is the latest and greatest iteration of the Kali Uchis sound, finely honed over the better part of a decade and poised to dominate the next one.

Stephen Eisermann: We’ve been in self-isolation for too long. I almost forget what vibing felt like until I played this – but damn if the beat and Kali Uchis’ smooth flow didn’t take me back. Kali Uchis’ voice rides the beat and her the fluidity with which she switches from Spanish to English has me reminiscing of younger days with lovers, hookups and the like just drunkenly caminando por la Sexta. Maybe after all this I’ll pretend I’m not about to be thirty and instead get drunk at a dive bar and Tijuana, walking down the street, smiling, thankful that I fucking survived. I needed this.

Oliver Maier: I like Kali and I like the texture of her voice, gentle with a slight edge to it. My favourite songs on Isolation brought out that contrast in their arrangements, trying to construct velvety soundscapes out of crummy synthesizers and cheap drums. That uneasiness is sadly absent on “Telepatía,” which sounds as plush and expensive as most of those songs only pretended to be. Kali herself sounds great but her love songs are more interesting when she lets a little venom seep in. I’m charmed by this, not excited.

Katherine St Asaph: Producer Tainy does his best Kaytranada mood-funk, Kali matches it in coolness and allure, as well as a lyrical theme — telepathically making love — that certainly fits distanced 2020 2021. TikTok popularizing “Telepatía” only sped up its journey to its final form: the 1-hour version.

Reader average: [8.66] (9 votes)

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One Response to “Kali Uchis – Telepatía”

  1. Nice and pleasant, perfect to vibe in the Ritz car to