Music review: Kučka, Unconditional EP

kucka’s Rhosian Woolridge explains why Kučka shouldn’t be considered Australia’s version of FKA Twigs:

In my humble opinion, (the girl from the video) FKA Twigs was a high contender for the best act of 2014. The London-based experimental artist gave us an incredibly haunting, RnB soaked LP that received critical acclaim. So, when I heard that there was an act making noise over on the West Coast, hyped to be Australia’s very own FKA Twigs, I was excited. To be compared to last year’s hype-thing is no small feat. However, Perth’s latest electronic virtuoso Kučka (real name Laura Jane Lowther) is no video girl, she is in fact her very own brand of avant-garde.

Kučka’s latest instalment, ‘Unconditional’, is a 7 track EP that showcases her individualism, with a selection of dreamy, forward-thinking, electronic pop songs that are somewhat of a homage to late sleep-ins, and the liminal time between the morning and early afternoon. Opener ‘Divinity’ is a celestial intro to Kučka’s world of haze, filled with pulsating drum patterns, synth, and pixie-like vocals that ease in and out of the production.

Next up is slow-jam ‘Generation XYZ’, where Lowther turns smooth beats into spaced out RnB. The track is no doubt mesmerising, but looms as a filler before stand out single ‘Flux 98’. Glittery synth washes over this song and Lowther sings of sleeping, sunlight, and the outside world as if it has temporarily dissolved. ‘Flux 98’ is a lo-fi dream, with a mix of ambient sounds and layered vocals, tied together by intelligent production. The EP’s title track ‘Unconditional’ is an equally strong slow-jam, followed by ‘Honey’ which is packed with sultry bass. A love song in disguise, ‘Honey’ will have you gyrating in no time. Sit back, listen and let the glittery pop magic unfold.

In the final two tracks Lowther introduces darker, more industrial soundscapes. With loads of glitch, closing song ‘Recovery’ is almost an exercise in hammer-and-tongs techno, and effectively mixes up the dreamy palette we’re used to.

Despite recognisable similarities between Kučka and melancholic pop acts like Grimes, this EP sets the Perth prodigy apart, with her new and very much unique take on urban electronic music. Her British counter-part FKA Twigs explores similar terrain, but there is something more inclusive about Kučka’s music. Twigs is a self-described loner, her music unsettling and bold. Kučka is shimmery, warm and intimate.

Kučka is one special little lady. In a genre that often favours similarity, she is superseding boundaries with her very own unique style of avant pop. I can’t wait to hear more!

Kučka’s Unconditional EP is out now via Midnight Feature through Inertia. Get it while it’s hawt.

Rhosian Woolridge 

 Review by Rhosian Woolridge.