Italian alternative popstress, Kiwi, releases her debut EP. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
Mariachiara Terragin (aka Kiwi) along with multi-instrumentalist Maxime Raguideau-Obadia has created a rather special EP. From the delicate piano repeat of opener Dolls House, you can’t help to be hooked.
Hush-hush vocals over a subdued intro are soon smashed with a powerful voice which shouts over a new dark bass sound before re-visiting the piano intro. It’s a fascinating piece of alternative pop and a thoroughly intriguing start to a fine collection of five tracks.
Comparisons to Bjork, Kate Bush and Annie Lennox are misplaced, a problem many female vocalists face but Kiwi doesn’t sound like any of them. Think more Emiliana Torrini circa her Love In The Time Of Science album and you have a far better representation, aside from Fearless which is a more regular piece of mainstream pop with an unusual percussive backbeat.
The title track is seductive and haunting, almost minimalist in its approach, echoing the Twin Peaks soundtrack at times and hints of Julee Cruise. It’s a strange choice for a main track as it wisps away as easily as it entered.
It’s on Make Me Happy where Kiwi sounds more like Icelander Torrini. Occasional high pitched tones (maybe from where the alleged Bush comparisons come from) pair with piano interludes and electro drum beats and a sumptuous bassline.
All five tracks seem at times incidental as they glide and float with a seemingly directionless power making near avant garde, post-ambient suggestions. Closer, Crystal Clear is simply beautiful in its simpleness as her vocals work as another instrument – her broken English endearing and captivating.
The EP isn’t the most immediate of collections but is a lovely introduction to an artist who could well achieve a large following and this reviewer is certainly looking forward to hearing more.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.