After immersing herself in complex synthesizer compositions for her sophomore album, 2018’s для FOR, the experimental pop artist Kate Shilonosova (aka Kate NV) felt compelled to return to a more corporeal mode of creating music. “I spent almost a year and half sitting, at best, or bending over the table,” the Moscow producer said. “My body rebelled, on some kind of physical level.” For the follow-up to для FOR, her forthcoming LP Room for the Moon, she has reassessed the capabilities of her own voice, a careening and playful tool that previously fueled the Japanese city pop-inspired arrangements on her debut with heady dopamine rushes.
While the chattering, spliced voices that bubbled up on для FOR between stretches of Buchla arrangements were more adornments than focal points, on “Sayonara,” the first single from her latest album, Shilonosova’s voice radiates brightly and takes surprising, sharp leaps that resemble a swooning Kate Bush. “Sayonara” is still cut through with Shilonosova’s precise touch, meticulously unfolding over angular guitar, tapping drums, and an imposing bassline. The mood is shadowy and slinky, building to a chorus where her vocals arc up as though they’re ascending a ladder. Shilonosova recenters her vocals and molds bold new shapes around them, crafting a languorous, dreamy take on synth-pop that’s her most hypnotic work yet.
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