What in the world is a ANTHEMOSESSA? I’m not sure. But I know what an anthem is. KIITA’s style is somewhat anthemic at times, but mainly a minimalistic, at times genre-bending journey.
The story goes this Columbus, Ohio teen uploaded some songs to Soundcloud after a particularly wrenching episode of heartbreak, and similarly to Post Malone, found some traction with that “X” virality factor that so many seek. This EP is the 16 year old’s latest output into the wild west of pop music; but a Soundcloud demo it ain’t.
Immediately many will be tempted to compare KIITA to Billie Eilish, with her deadpan vocals over at times dark beats, but don’t stop there. “Messed Up” is a pretty solid track for an intro to KIITA, with it’s grungy guitar and slick groove. It’s a break up song that will get stuck in your head, regardless of whether you’ve experienced heartbreak recently. It’s a bit jarring to hear someone so young use lyrics that are so aggressive – some things I wish were worded differently to be honest. Yet, I have to acknowledge that we all say blunt, profane stuff in our darkest moments, and KIITA is here to express that as she sees fit.
Another highlight comes in “Phantasy” a dark and brooding song that has an aural effect not unlike floating. I’m picturing the potential live show in my mind – rather than Lorde’s spastic dancing or Billie Eilish’s persistent bouncing, I’m seeing a more methodical stage presence. Deliberate, to complement the vibe of the song. Ethereal piano adds another layer to EP opener “Temptation” and “Nerve,” taking a less-is-more approach. Still deliberate.
When I thought I had KIITA figured out, the one-two punch of “You’re a Liar” and “This Is For You” close out the EP in a more organic direction. The former is a lighter, warmer tune that kind of reminds me of the mid-2000s hit “Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick. There’s a very daytime, radio friendly vibe to this pop rock song and I’m here for it. “This Is For You” is a simple acoustic guitar-driven ballad – it’s a breakup song. It doesn’t get more straightforward than “I don’t want a love song / I want a sad song.”
Straightforward yet fresh is actually a pretty good way to describe the sound of KIITA. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with Epic Records guiding her in the years to come.