Thursday 1 November 2012

iamamiwhoami - Kin

Female artists definitely have a monopoly on musical creativity in the current industry, producing the most exciting output of pop.   Paralleling this is the significant influence of Swedish electro-pop.  So Swedish female musicians are a match made in heaven, right?

Enter iamamiwhoami, who not only have an awesome name but tick all the boxes.  The project is the brainchild of Swedish folky-type Jonna Lee, with electronic production from Claes Björklund (the first part of the surname is not insignificant).  Think along the lines of Niki & The Dove, Goldfrapp or Grimes.

Goods is the current single, receiving regular radio airplay.  It’s certainly Lee’s most radio-friendly track, mixing pop and dance in a concoction Little Boots would be proud of.  It features on debut album ‘Kin’, which was actually released back in June but has remained, until recently, a largely undiscovered gem.

And there are some gems on the album.  The real highlights are those tracks that embrace pop most fully – the dramatic urgency of Drops; the techno whizz-bang of Good Worker; and the sexy R&B vibe of Play that wouldn't go amiss on AlunaGeorge’s set list.  Above it all is Lee’s typically high-pitched, squawking vocal, mirrored by her oddball sense of style. When iamamiwhoami get it right, the results are phenomenal.

‘Kin’ does waver though.  The second half in particular crumbles under the weight of its own artistic creativity.   Without the pop hooks, the tracks homogenize into a singular, repetitive and unmemorable gloop.   Experimentation is welcome, but tracks like In Due Order or Idle Talk stray too far from pop.  And with such strong competition in the field, 'Kin' is in need of a tighter focus.

The album is only half the story though.  Upon release, the album was accompanied by a series of videos that run parallel to the music.  Though they feature some beautifully shot but bleak Scandinavian landscapes, some unique dancing from Lee and some…erm…furry creatures, together they make little narrative sense.   As with the album itself, the videos fail to live up to Lee’s lofty artistic aspirations.  But with such strong pop potential, iamamiwhoami deserve far more attention than they’re currently receiving.


Gizzle’s Choice:
* Good Worker
* Play
* Goods

Listen: Both ‘Kin’ and current single Goods are available now.