Artist To Watch: Kiiara

While browsing Spotify’s new releases, I stumbled upon “Gold”, a synth-pop gem from brand-new artist Kiiara. Give it a listen – and then be as shocked as I was when I found out that rather than being a Scandinavian pop goddess, she’s a twenty-year old clerk in an Illinois hardware store. She’s been writing music “to cut out the white noise” of her day-to-day life and, lucky for us, is preparing an EP, titled Meet Me In The Cornfield. There’s no release date for the EP yet, but she has four incredible tracks out on her SoundCloud.

With a sparkling production backing up her beautiful voice, “Gold” is truly infectious and will leave you craving more. Even though you probably can’t sing along to the glitchy chorus, the lyrics are equally fabulous as she bitingly says “I missed you in the basement/but your brother was a good substitute”. It’s a jaded look at young love, glamorous without being glamorized, and it’s a really spectacular break-out track.

Her second single, “Tennessee”, proves yet again that she can do a mean sample. Every aspect of this song rocks, from the subtly tribal-influenced beats to the lush texture to the head-bobbing (unintelligible) chorus. It’s pop in the vein of Lorde, with a dark, alluring atmosphere that separates it from the bubblegum of the top 40.

“Feels” is Kiiara’s shortest track to date, but she packs a lot into three minutes. She takes a deep look into a darker kind of love, but she doesn’t condemn or extol anyone’s actions – she just sings. Bonus points if you catch her allusion to “Gold” in the line “do you remember the first time I missed you in the basement?”

“Intention” takes her in a different direction than her previous three releases with its slightly brighter tone, courtesy of a different producer. The repetition of “I don’t know what you’re saying but you’re talking too loud” is relatable and her high, delicate vocals are complimented, not overwhelmed, by the song’s heavy R&B foundation.

Kiiara has found admirers in Apple Music and some big-name producers, so she’s definitely an artist to watch before her sleek grooves skyrocket her into much-deserved pop stardom.


About the author

Sarah Mathys

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Sarah is a junior Anthropology major from Austin, Texas, and the Editor in Chief of The Rotation. She has a deep love for overpriced tea, Jack White, and live music. Catch her live on South By Northern Virginia with DJ Marshall every Monday night from 8-10 EST.

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