Review: Kib Elektra – Blemishes

Kib Elektra - BlemishesI love the moments on Blemishes when Kib Elektra’s voice hangs like lanterns, lingering obliviously in pleasant harmony as the music jolts and pounds from beneath. And the moments when delay catches her sibilance, carrying her words over synthesisers with the delicate jerks of a pond skater. She dangles her legs over the dream world. Real, but just barely; prone to the peripheral glitches of electro-fantasy, where the body starts to pixelate and smear as the imagination pulls it open. Ultimately these are human songs – driven by the sorrow of prolonged solitary thought or the utopian bliss of daydreaming – yet buried within Blemishes is the potential to collapse into noise. The percussion stumbles and desperately tries to stay upright. Drones and cicadas lurk around the edges of the acoustic guitars and try to drag them away. Something about Kib Elektra’s pop makes it seem destined to perish.

It’s a wonderful push-pull. “Breaking Skies” is like a battle for the horizon line: pounding drum and thick bass play the role of mountains climbing up to claim the air, while voices descend upon the earth like clouds. The melody is a syncopated zig-zag, dragged up and down by the opposing forces. “Din & Drone” stutters with digital corruption and the patter of tumbling pans, playing out the disaster prophesised by the smoky gothic melody that rises up through the middle. The final two tracks see Kib Elektra re-asserting a connection to the corporeal. I hear her nails scraping against guitar strings and finger sliding over frets. “If I strip myself down and reveal my markings,” she sings on the title track, relieved of those clouds of electronics and percussion, becoming wholly organic for just a moment. “…and blemishes show – would you feel the same?”