As fascinating as it is tantalising, the debut EP from Kiwi is a mesmeric adventure which flirts with the imagination whilst seducing ears. State Of Alert is an enthralling embrace on the senses, a collection of songs which are as elegant as they are quirkily colourful, and a proposition which swiftly reveals why Kiwi has become a keenly praised prospect.
Kiwi, better known to her parents as Mariachiara Terragin, is an Italian born musician/vocalist who with her riveting haunting tones has drawn comparisons to the likes of Björk, Kate Bush, Saint Saviour, and Annie Lennox. Already making potent impressions with her live shows, it was the collaboration with multi-instrumentalist producer Maxime Raguideau-Obadia which has been the spark to a new wash of attention and the creation of State of Alert. With guitarist Sean Worral and drummer Andrea Rapisarda alongside Kiwi and Raguideau-Obadia, the band has unveiled a startling debut which marks a new refreshing presence in alternative pop.
The transfixing affair is opened by Dolls House, piano keys coaxing ears initially before the instantly potent voice of Kiwi adds its seduction, enhanced by glorious harmonies soon after. With a darker bass tone emerging from keys too, there is an engrossing shadow to the radiance of the song, one given richer hue by the strong whisper of melancholic strings. It is a powerfully evocative proposition, vocals filling its air with an array of melodic colour whilst electronic twists from keys flirt just as warmly.
It is an excellent start which is followed by the sultry Fearless with its climate of melodic flames over a gentle yet action packed vocal weave. The electronic beats and percussive elements apart, their punchiness an imposing distraction, the song proceeds to dance tenderly and vivaciously over ears, expelling washes of energy for its chorus which in turn incites a fiery vocal croon from Kiwi. Though the song does not match its predecessor it still provides a captivating glide of synth pop to increase appetite for the release which the title track feeds to greater potency. The third song is a smouldering haunting and seducing, a climactic twang of guitar veining another sublime and picturesque narrative of vocals and melodies.
Make Me Happy is a jazzy temptress of an encounter, vocal flirtation aligned to a bordering on sinister hug of sound with strings and melodies wrapped in tension and drama throughout whilst a noir seeded shadow lies temptingly over the whole swirl of intrigue and radiant beauty. It is a delicious tapestry of emotion and imagination, a further example as to why Kiwi has brewed up a very healthy buzz around her.
The EP closes with Crystal Clear, a song which vocally kisses like a mix of Bjork and fellow Italian songstress Francesca Corradini formerly of The Cellophane Flowers. It is a masterfully magnetic end to a thrilling introduction to an artist with the potential to set the pop world alight. State of Alert is a breath-taking adventure of sound and invention, and vocally one of the most striking and exciting encounters to come our way this year.
The State of Alert EP is available September 2014.
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