Listen: Kate NV – “mi (we)” [2023]

In the summer of 2017, I happened to see Kate NV perform in Brooklyn three times in a two week span. Once by chance (opening for Jessy Lanza @ House of Yes), and twice by seeking out her gigs since she was visiting from Russia, and I was impressed enough the first time that I wanted to catch a full set. She was in town for the now-defunct Northside Festival, mind you – I didn’t think I could get this opportunity for a while after. One of these shows through Northside was an Orange Milk Records showcase, where I got to see Honnda, Giant Claw, Kate NV and Foodman in one space: in the basement of a seafood restaurant. Pretty cool! All this to say, NV put on a great set, despite me being super unfamiliar with her material up to that point. The closer especially was a ton of fun, with its clattering bells and janky stops-and-starts. Like I mentioned before, I wasn’t super familiar with her 2016 debut album, but thought that such a fun closing would definitely be on it. Wrong! Ok well maybe it would come on her 2018 album – nope! And 2020? NAH! I didn’t even know the actual name of the track! Would I have to solely listen to the song via live clips on YouTube? Would a studio version of this track ever come?

The answer of course, is yes. Earlier this week I saw that Kate NV had tweeted that her new album WOW (out today, as of posting this!) contained tracks she had been performing live since 2017, which ignited some hope within me. Now today, I’m listening to the LP straight through, keeping my expectations in check. Then suddenly, the rattling bells came in. I did a fist-pump in the air. What’s funny is this track isn’t even my favorite thing NV has done, I’d just been waiting for a studio version for so long. Don’t let this statement discount the track’s delights though, as it is truly an auditory adventure and one worth anticipating all this time for.

Grab a nice pair of headphones, or speakers with good left and right channels, and let this track wrap around you. The clattering bells and chimes are hypnotic in their own right, but throughout the song’s length, fluttering and squishing synthesizers warp around in the channels, illuminating an intangible space around your ears. NV’s vocals provide a calmer respite for the moment, and then all hell breaks loose. It feels like a cartoonish machine has gone haywire, with the track rapidly stopping and starting, with other chaotic thumps and crashes rhythmically carrying the track along while synthetic human voice fragments scatter wildly in the song’s back end. It eventually ends in almost comical fashion, with a slow, “womp, womp, wompp”, like a Looney Tunes’ “That’s All Folks!”, as NV looks at the camera and takes a bow. It’s incredibly fun, and feels right at home within the rest of the tracks on this delightfully playful record, which I highly recommend. What I need next is for Kate NV to score a video game. But for now, I’m happy to frolic around the bizarre and colorful funhouse that is WOW.

Kate NV’s WOW is out now via RVNG Intl. listen + buy via Bandcamp HERE.

About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
This entry was posted in Music and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s