One of the great pleasures of running this blog is when you discover a new artist who just flaws you, to the point where their music becomes the new soundtrack to every inch of your daily routine. The kind of collision that tears away all of the cynical feelings you can start to inherit after having to spend days going through your inbox and being constantly underwhelmed by how many bands / artists are all “style over substance” – that really fucking bums me out. Lucky for me there was an artist who I have encountered who pulled me out of this zone.
The artist I’m talking about is King IV and her glorious new song “No One” helped remind me of the joy of music and why I love the thrill of humans finding radical new ways to communicate about that “ache” that is buried at the centre of all good art and let me be clear, King IV is an artist in the truest sense with music being her chosen vehicle of expression and pain being her paintbrush. By using the aesthetics of established genres her vision is able to explode out of the speakers sparking a dynamic emotional reaction from you the listener. There will be a desire to dance, to be still and to slowly edge yourself to the outskirts of the party in order to engage some quiet reflection. All in all the comfort of being sad will be dulled amplified and totally erased giving you the space to explore the new taste of desire, giving new names to old feelings scheduling in the smooth rush of a cool breeze. This song shivers up and down your fucking spine, pushing the politics of broken hearted warfare to front and centre of your memory. It haunts and it creeps.
For me, this song is another example of what 21st Century psychedelic music should sound like and the production along with the vocal arrangements showcase that King IV is a human who knows the importance of coating the pop song template with weirdness in order to amplify the hooks. All good pop hooks have sprinklings of the avant-garde. This is so the hook can have a degree of hypnosis buried within it. To those who love art, we know the secret, but to those who are merely just audience members the easiest way for me to explain the role of the avant garde in a good pop hook is to say that it is that “thing” that attracts you to the song, that “thing” you just can’t explain. Artists invent new ways to communicate these avant-gardisms, musicians and big industry music machine humans manipulate the weirdness and dull it down. With her song “No One” King IV shows how creative she is by letting her music breath the language of both the avant garde and the pop birthing a very “new” and “timeless” sound.
It’s the emotion of the song that hooks me in however. The technique is world class and it’s quite clear that King IV has the goods to construct interesting pop music but the science of a song is only allowed to make sense if there is a deep emotional core sprinkling a little bit of that special stuff across the aesthetics. That’s what I connect with, the deep emotional ache of King IV’s lyrics and melodic approach. That’s where I escape into when I’ve got this song playing. I want to know more and I want to know exactly who or what is inspiring this song.
In 2016 I’ve had the thrill of discovering many different artists and King IV is just another example of how lucky I feel to get to witness the birth of an artists career. I look forward to the future of King IV’s career and to see what she’ll release next.
Don’t fucking stall – make sure you devour King IV before she becomes the worldwide hit she is destined to become.
By: Dan Newton