Before any of the news in the headlines is covered, we’d like to bring some somber news to fans of Jonna Lee’s alternative music. It seems as though the domain name to her official website has expired. You can take a look back at the webpage through our previous article here. It seems as though this was always the plan for the fate of the website and with each small step we get further away from the acoustic/pop beginnings of what would become the catalyst for the Iamamiwhoami project.
Though past has passed, the future continues to shine for Iam and their debut album Kin. They’re nominated for another MTV O Award under the Digital Genius category (vote here) and despite not having confirmation on the lineup page, the project is rumored to play Germany’s 2012 Berlin Festival on one of their September dates. If true, this would be the second Iamamiwhoami show in 2012, the first being the Stockholm festival in August.
Through all of the new happenings with the digital geniuses (see what I did there? Do you?!?! Go vote, damnit..), the one thing that remains constant is that a new video and track from Kin entitled “Kill” was released via YouTube on May 22nd and various digital outlets on the 23rd.
The main premise of “Kill,” sonically, seems to be maintaining a strong and stagnant rhythmic state. This is most evident at the chorus, where almost every single aspect of the melody falls inline with a downbeat, drives the track in some way, or is accented on one of the stronger beats in a given measure of the song. The most interesting part of this rhythm is an unexpected brass-like section, which is clearly heard through the right channel and plays in line with the bass line of the track during the verse, then moves more into a supportive role at the chorus by voicing itself lower in the mix, semi-breaking from it’s norm, producing whole notes as opposed to it’s eighth note bass counterpart.
When the rhythmic melody isn’t being focused on, there’s a lot of atmospheric back noise going on throughout the song, which is done through the use of several pads that you can hear most clearly during the “come on, just kill this,” breakdown. Mostly held out in whole notes, these pads and assisting synths help evolve the sections of “Kill” with their semi-distorted effects that aren’t used prominently, but are present enough to give greater depth to the mix of the song. Reverberated and panned percussive elements provide aid to the subtle mood as well and all in all build a great foundation for the main instrumentation and vocal channels to ebb and flow on.
Of course, the signature Iamamiwhoami vocal reverberation and delay effects remain intact with the majority of the song, but a small break during the breakdown finds Jonna Lee showing off a wider singing range. “Come on, just kill this” is sung in a lower register, while a second lead vocal comes in half-way through, jumping up octaves. When the two combine and are present overtop of the steady kick drum, it emotionally balances on desperate hopefulness, creating one of the most triumphant climaxes we’ve heard from the Kin series.
The lyrics could be interpreted into trying to destroy a certain situation or worry while feeling the repercussions of it, and trying to move on. Verses with lines such as “one foot forward, will you be catching my fall? Once I give, I know you’ll be claiming more” show the hesitance in dealing with an issue, while the chorus provides a perfect summary of the basis: “Come on just kill this, demands and notions, all this commotion is not worth it. Come on just give this a second coming, an age is dawning with out smiles and laughter.” As a chorus should.
It’s apparent from the music video for “Kill” that the song is focused to something more specific, the loss of a child. From the water breaking, to the subtle notions in which Jonna Lee grabs her stomach and is aggressive toward it and even looking back through previous videos it’s clear that one aspect of the story has somehow focused upon this. We’ve had the “Y” baby, the prostitution feel of the “;John” and “Clump” videos, and the overtly sexual performance from 2011’s live debut Way Out West. From there, most of the videos in support of Kin have seemed to be stemmed from finding a balance from fantasy/innocence, to reality/maturity.
“What is expected, to carry you in my arms” is the key line in this song, morphing all of the meanings together into one conglomerative study.
It’s also of note that “Kill” can be seen as a close relative of “Drops” because of the close relation of mixing techniques. The kick, bass, and vocals of both of these tracks have the heaviest focus within the mix. All other elements immensely help the song in all ways possible. Muddiness doesn’t occur because of them, interesting effects with minimal distortion thrive, and pushing melodic sections come together to pace the song and make it a unique sonic experience. Cohesion lies within a lot of the songs on Kin, but none as smartly linked as these two.
P.S. Rumors have been circulating that “Kill” is the last release from Kin until the record drops. This is not true. “Goods” is slated for emancipation on June 5th. There’s also rumors of Kin being pushed back until September, which is also false information. Pre-orders are available on several websites and the record is still anticipated for June 11th on CD+DVD/Vinyl.