Cryalot - Icarus EP Music Album Reviews

Cryalot - Icarus EP Music Album Reviews
Balancing the familiar sweetness of her vocals against bruised club beats, the debut EP from Kero Kero Bonito’s Sarah Midori Perry traverses newly dark emotional terrain.

Cuteness brings out dark things in people. If you’ve ever wanted to squeeze something adorable until it bursts, you’re not alone—there’s a direct correlation in our brains that links seeing cute things with violent urges, an emotional redirect that serves as an outlet to deal with our intensely affectionate instincts. But there’s more to it than that: On some level, being confronted with innocence is a reminder of how sweet it is to not yet know how painful the real world can be. That innocence is something to be admired and protected, but it’s also something we yearn for, crave, and even mourn. It’s enough to make you want to grab something cute as tightly as possible and pinch it by the cheeks.

For most of Sarah Midori Perry’s musical career, this multifaceted understanding of cuteness has remained buried beneath the surface. With Kero Kero Bonito, she’s occasionally tucked more mature subject matter into the band’s kawaii-lite style, be it the end of the world on their Civilisation EPs, or the destruction of her childhood home on Time ‘n’ Place. But the music itself has always been a smiling ray of sunshine, cheerful as a Saturday morning cartoon. While half of KKB’s production team emerged from the transgressive PC Music collective, the band’s own mission seemed to strip away the layers of horror and irony coursing through that label’s hypercute aesthetic, presenting something more pure and sincere in the process. If the music hasn’t been as groundbreaking, they’ve made up for it with ear-wormy hooks and joyously bouncy production.

Icarus arrives like an ominous cloud spreading across the KKB universe. Until now, Perry has primarily used her Cryalot moniker for skull-rattling happy hardcore DJ sets—but on her debut EP under the name, it’s a vessel for sounds and emotions more gutwrenching than anything she’s touched on with Kero Kero Bonito. Instead of singing over a miniature symphony of Donkey Kong Country MIDI flutes, she and producer Jennifer Walton opt for something a little more “Ponyboy”: screeching nu-metal sub-bass thrashes and stomps its way through these songs, while bruised club beats provide a searing anchor for Perry’s childlike vocals to glide overhead. It’s as though she’s swapped out her colorful graduation gown for a shopping spree at Dolls Kill. Fortunately, this new skin hasn’t come at the cost of her knack for earnest, touching pop songwriting.

As with all her music, Perry performs Icarus as if she were narrating a fairytale, albeit one much gloomier in tone. Conceived during a period when Perry was experiencing intense depression, Icarus is filled with references to angels and demons, to eternal spirals of damnation and redemption. The EP takes the form of a song cycle revolving around its titular Greek myth, but in contrast to the story’s origin as a cautionary tale, Perry recasts Icarus’ flight as a powerful moment of self-actualization. “Let me touch the sun/Wanna have it all/I don’t care if I fall/I accepted it all,” she sings over a pounding beat on “Touch the Sun,” swelling to a moment of heavenly club catharsis while glitched-out replicas of her voice cyclone all around. It’s Perry’s biggest dancefloor track yet, made all the more intense by how her silk-soft voice counterbalances the eruptive sounds happening all around it.

This contrast between dark and light is key to the best moments on Icarus, particularly when Perry leans fully into her new fascination with metal. The verses on “Hell Is Here” are peaceful and inquisitive, with Perry and Walton adorning the song’s J-poppy melody in cooing harmonies and gently twinkling piano. Before long, the chorus brings everything crashing down, with gutturally screamed vocals and a rubbery, wobbling bass tone that would make Datsik proud. Though Perry isn’t the first artist to navigate the intersection between experimental club music and screamo, she shows enough mastery of tension and release to make it satisfying (she pulls off a similar trick on “Labyrinth,” a tender power ballad whose glitching, yeule-y intro explodes into a cybernetic wall of rich, blasting synth chords).

The record’s inversion of the Icarus myth never approaches anything as profound as it seems to suggest (the final track “See You Again,” essentially a five-and-a-half-minute dramatic monologue, has no business being the longest song), but as with Kero Kero Bonito, Perry’s biggest strengths as Cryalot don’t lie in her innovation, but in her craft. The best moments on Icarus feel as if they were tailor-made to be spun at the next HEAV3N party, but Perry transcends the project’s trendy exterior with the same legitimate vulnerability that’s made her a cult star in the first place. In exploring the scarier sides of her cutesy approach to pop music, Perry uncovers emotional depths that once seemed unattainable in her main project, prodding at an unsettling underbelly that she’s never let us see so fully before. Perhaps it’s a good thing that she finally decided to let those violent urges out.

Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Cryalot - Icarus EP Music Album Reviews Cryalot - Icarus EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 07, 2022 Rating: 5


Post a Comment