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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Head-to-head: The DW and KAMP Radio weigh in on Kacy Hill’s EP

    G.O.O.D+Music+Inc.

    G.O.O.D Music Inc.

    When it was announced Kanye West had signed a new artist to his male-dominated label, GOOD Music, the Internet went into an agitated mini frenzy. Questions arose, “Who is it? What’s his name? Have I heard them before?” Sadly, for most hip-hop heads, it was not a name speculated in GOOD Music blog posts and forums. It was a young woman named Kacy Hill.

    Never heard of her, right? At the time she was signed, she had no prior work as an artist other than her song, “Experience.” It was a mesmerizing song that displayed Hill’s singing abilities, but how could West sign someone with just one piece of work?

    The former American Apparel model and Phoenix native just released her first EP, Bloo. Mark Flores, Daily Wildcat reporter, and KAMP Radio general manager, André Pettman, went head-to-head to review Hill’s experimental R&B release.

    “Foreign Fields”

    André Pettman: The lead single, “Foreign Fields,” sounds like it’s some kind of early demo of James Blake’s “Limit to Your Love,” so much so that it borders on cringe-worthy in how identical it is. I have no problem with an artist wearing their influences on their sleeve, but “Foreign Fields” sounds so similar it might as well be a cover.

    Mark Flores: This track definitely stands out the most on the project. Its minimalistic beat builds anticipation on Hill’s falsetto and reels in listeners through a catchy hook, “Motion to foreign fields.” It’s evident that Hill is on her way to a “foreign field” that will give familiar praise. It’s Hill’s wistful voice in combination with rising synth-pops that make this track the lead single on the EP.

    “Arm’s Length”

    AP: “Arm’s Length” is the weakest track on this EP, with a production style that reminds me of something that would play on the dance floor of an empty club; it sounds “uplifting” in some sense, but in a corny way.

    MF: Hill uses the track’s uplifting beats accompanying her pitch-perfect voice to display her independence. “You can’t love me this way / You can’t keep me in chains / You can’t lead me astray / Fuck it, I’ll take the wheel.” It appears that she has some emotional baggage on the track that makes it an anthem for newly-single people out there trying to bring themselves back up after a breakup.

    “Shades of Blue”

    AP: “Shades of Blue” is by far the strongest song on this EP with an open, expansive beat that lets Hill’s voice work its way in and out of the instrumental, giving us a small sample of her potential and a glimmer of hope for her more interesting future projects.

    MF: Right off the bat, the song’s doleful beginning tells listeners Hill has a few things to get off her chest. “I should have known this time that you couldn’t hold me right. If you’ve got the moon you don’t need my light. What am I to you?” Lyrics aside, your ears will stay fixated on her delicate voice. Just like Taylor Swift and Adele, Hill’s enduring of heartbreak supplements her enchanting vocals.

    Remixes of “Arm’s Length” and “Foreign Fields”

    AP: The two remixes tacked on to the end of this EP don’t add much either. The same cannot be said of Bodhi’s generic reworking of “Arm’s Length,” as his version sounds like any random dance track you could find on SoundCloud.

    MF: A remix on an EP? Of course. We do live in the 2010’s, so why not? Yung Gud, a producer from Stockholm, remixed “Foreign Fields” in a way that sounds like it might be featured in a promotional video for a dance festival in the future. Two remixes on one EP? Unfortunately, yes. Cardiff-based producer duo, Bodhi, remixes “Arm’s Length,” turning it into a track suited for an intermediate Pilates studio warm-up. Hill must be aware of her musical abilities: Why else would she have her listeners on their toes with a three-song, two-remix EP?

    Overall

    AP: Remember in 2011 when James Blake’s self-titled album released? Critics lauded it for being a gorgeous project full of atmospheric tunes, mixing sparse piano lines with minimal Dubstep production. Well, it seems like Kacy Hill is just now hearing it for the first time .

    There’s no doubt that Hill has talent, but on Bloo, she comes off sounding lost and emulating her influences. The world of synth-R&B is a crowded one. With stellar projects from the likes FKA twigs and Empress Of releasing this year, Hill has her work cut out for her when it comes to making headway as an artist.

    Maybe my expectations for Bloo were too high, but this EP really falls flat. I still have no idea what kind of artist Hill is. Is she the one who created the fantastic “Experience” and delivered memorable vocal features on the Travi$ Scott album? Or is she the unoriginal, copycat artist that sounds stuck in the past? My hope is the former, but only time will tell until Hill shows what kind of artist she really is.

    RATING: 4.5/10

    Check out: “Shades of Blue”

    MF: Overall, Hill’s mini EP is the answer to why Kanye West signed her. Her name hasn’t been finding its way into households, but with a debut like this, anything is possible for the young redhead. Let’s just be hopeful for a full-length project.

    RATING: 8/10

    Check out: “Foreign Fields,” “Arm’s Length” and “Shades of Blue”


    Follow Mark Flores and André Pettman on Twitter.


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