Kilo Kish – mothe EP
Released: 7 September 2018
★★★★★: Best in show; pinnacle release from an all-time great artist.
★★★★1/2: Stellar example of genre; peak potential.
★★★★: Excellent; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★1/2: Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.
★★1/2: Average; does little to establish the artist or maintain quality.
★★: Unexceptional; a few highlights but otherwise bland.
★1/2: Weak; unrecommended for anyone but major fans of the style and/or artist.
★: Seriously flawed; very poor work but relatively listenable.
1/2: Terrible; a true embarrassment and akin to audio masochism.
Mothe EP stands at 6 songs total. 3 of the 6 songs are calm and more vibey (San Pedro, Alive, Prayer); the other 3 songs are a bit heavier, setting the “video game” tone for the album with their shared abrasive bass and fast BPMs.
#1 San Pedro 3.5/5
Shoutout to the 405 San Pedro exit! San Pedro opens mothe with “video game boss-level” vibes with its slow, creeping strings before opening into a guitar flange reminiscent of Mac Demarco’s 2 project, specifically “Freaking Out the Neighborhood“. Kish narrates over the instrumental, prime for a storytelling verse.
Shoutout to Vince Staples’ talking cameo at the end of this song!
#2 Like Honey 3.25/5
This happens to my least favorite song on the EP, but still has some moments that I enjoy. Lyrically, “Like Honey” feels abstract; sonically, this song feels like the chase scene in an Action movie.
There’s a good amount of reverb here, and the bass provides an industrial feel, yet Kilo Kish’s soft voice adds a dash of sensuality, and dare I say – SEXUALITY to an otherwise flat-feeling instrumental.
#3 Void: 4/5
I get heavy video-game vibes on this track – well, I get this vibe throughout all of mothe, but especially on this track. The winding siren synth/chime feels like a page out of Lil Uzi Vert’s book. I’m actually very interested in hearing Uzi over this beat now, to be honest.
Void‘s pace and BPM increases with the song’s sequence. Kilo Kish sits back in a soft-echo pocket, allowing the beat to lead the song.
#4 Alive: 4/5
Kish was in her Tame Impala bag on this track! Heavy cosmic vibes. The heavily reverb-y “They Only Want” chant in the song’s first few seconds takes me back to the Lonerism LP, as do the synth chords. Kish adds her signature accented diatribe to the end of the track.
#5 Elegance: 3.75/5
Repeating chorus, heavy bass, easily repeatable lyrics – this song feels anthemic and is screaming for a House remix!
The looping cowbell reminds me of one of the preset Garageband instrument loops – in a bad way. But surprisingly, the cowbell contrasts well against the abrasive and shifting bass. The song is pretty barebones lyrically and Kilo Kish Sade-whispers her way through most of the song, but she also deploys some Rap-sounding flows in verse 1 and 2. Despite her whisper, you can feel the track’s anger.
#6 Prayer: 3.5/5
Perhaps the most lyrically commanding performance from Kilo Kish on this entire album. She’s clear, her words are cutting, and she’s enhanced by (more) reverb. A good song, but there’s a lot happening at the end of this track. Too much.
TOTAL: 3.66/5 – Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★1/2: As a whole, mothe EP is an abstract offering from Kilo Kish who appears to be experimenting with more abrasive bass and challenging BPMs. She also appears to be in a garage rock/indie/Kelela mood judging by some of mothe‘s sonic similarities.
As with Kish’s other projects, I’m looking for her to stand-out. For much of this EP, Kish is secondary to the production, her voice gets lost in the production – except for on Prayer.
I’ve always viewed Kilo Kish’s strength to be her voice: her voice is very clear and pronounced and this is what makes her stand out. I’m looking for Kish to standout lyrically, or maybe find a cadence she’s comfortable with, or even a production style. The cover artwork on mothe is abstract and, non-coincidentally, the EP as a whole feels abstract. A few short steps away from empty.
On mothe Kish serves us lyrics about love, but also about uncertainty…and the project as a whole feels that way – uncertain. Uncertain of direction. However, certain sound effects and use of bass gives this project a video game-type feel and theme, providing some cohesively despite lack of direction.
Am I the only one picking up these video-game vibes? Maybe its just me!