Kiiara – ‘1%’
For a brief time in the summer of 2016, it looked rather like Kiiara was poised to blossom into a proper off-kilter popstar, with her Atlantic-released Low Kii Savage EP a 21-minute manifesto of her compelling blend of sheer attitude and deft modern pop violently whizzed through the eccentric blender of Felix Snow’s production. Somehow, the magic failed to materialise: Snow appears to have devoted himself to the cause of retweeting zen quotes rather than laying out minimal electronic beds for SZA (‘Lies’) and Lil Uzi Vert (‘Love’) to ignite, and Kiiara’s only real signals since have typically been bland dance-lite filth alongside a big-name past-it DJ bloke or two. Or ‘Heavy,’ that odd Linkin Park thing.
Perhaps it’s with those wistful visions of what could have been that I approached her new quartet of singles last week, but ‘1%’ at the very least carries enough of the narcotic tendencies of her heyday to make a hopeful impression. There’s nothing particularly special about it on the surface – ostensibly, all she’s doing is bragging about her nuptial-worthy sexual prowess while trying to set up a time to show it off before her phone goes flat, such is the millennial struggle – but there’s just something in how her voice bounces around between claps and yelps (courtesy of Actually Good Artist™ Baauer and co.) that makes up for all the noise of the last 18 months.