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Items | How Kim Petras Became ‘Queen of Halloween’ With ‘TURN OFF THE LIGHT’



In 2019, German singer Kim Petras became one of the most prolific names in the music industry by releasing two major works: the first was her debut studio album titled ‘Clarity’, which immediately became a critical and popular success ; and, just as the most mystical month of the year opens, the artist announces the debut of his otherworldly and ostensibly dark mixtape titled ‘TURN OFF THE LIGHT’ – which has resulted in one of the best soundtracks of in recent years by uniting in one place a musical nostalgia for classic cinematic soundtracks of the horror genre in composition with his reverberating appreciation for the EDM aesthetic.

Petras started working on her EP last year: in September 2018, she began revealing that she was working on a new piece, the first half of which was released in October. Exactly a year later, she returns to streaming platforms in anticipation of the Halloween holiday with a deadly journey through the perils of love, a tale drawn from romantic novels and 19th century slasher feature films that unfold extends beyond a recurring vanguard of the last years of the 2010s. Street’, ‘Friday the 13th’ and ‘Halloween’) while cultivating a unique identity and bubbling with musical passion.

It is true that, for listeners accustomed to more conventional and commercial sounds, the EP appears as an obligatory dissonance which draws much more from the wavering eclecticism of industrial pop than from the electronic chords that we have already encountered. In each of the tracks, the singer prints an intoxicating range that builds on the epic narrative before completely surrendering to a screaming mix of sounds that envelops her audience from start to finish – not to mention that the titles clearly say so ( or not so clearly ), clear like that) allusions to witty settings, brief tales of horror, and the complete lack of hope on the part of those who sing.

From this premise, it’s almost redundant to wonder why the album begins with the absolutist prologue “Purgatory,” which delves into melancholic elegy before turning to pure dark-pop, adorned with expansive beats that don’t never die, but serve forth. basis for the other songs. “There Will Be Blood” marks Kim’s first vocal entry, in a delightful mezzo-soprano rendition that conveniently explodes in the choruses but shines for its dreamlike instrumentals.

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“Bloody Valentine”, referencing the classic slasher “Day of Macabre Valentine”, returns to a synesthetic description of what it would be like if we were to find ourselves in a deadly relationship: the overflowing outline of synthesizers and percussion parts, all combined with the subtlety of a piano in the background, is confusing on many levels – but I mean “confusing” in the sensory sense of the word; the merit of music is to have the courage not to stick to genre labels, to cultivate its own territory, the fruits of which can be seen in the multiple productions. In fact, this darker perspective is reflected, within the album, in constructions such as “Knives” and the extremely conceptual “TRANSylvania”.

If Petras uses electronic elements to provide a brief explanation of what she presents to us, she does not hesitate to invert what she offers in favor of a charming, distorted and narcotic sound minimalism. This can be seen in the cyclical unfolding of ” in the organic, almost classical delivery of “Massacre”, and in the theatrical performance of “Tell Me It’s a Nightmare”, whose dark channeling transgresses the Manichean conceptions we have of dreams and nightmares, creating a bizarre invitation and tempting to the tragedy presented to us by the singer.

Finally, the director and composer John Carpenter is the one who inspires the artist the most to sew his epic and complex journey: the serial killer Michael Myers returns to life with the arrival of the suggestive “omen”, a track in which Kim he uses and abuses the tonal repetitions of an electronic keyboard before letting himself be carried away by the exhausting and terrifying chorus which plays in the background. Along with the tributes, Kim invites the immortal Elvira to join her in a dance with darkness in the title track – once again using irreversible commercialism to grab our attention.

Petras’ fondness for the excessive use of autotune and vocal distortions in virtually every song that makes up the mixtape is also noticeable. However, unlike her compatriots, she makes this relatively reprehensible aesthetic a motto to allow her scary stories to materialize with enormous force – and that’s what happens in the sexy and dramatic interpretation of “Close Your Eyes “. Unfortunately, the force of the work is lost in the last pieces, touching a recycled repetition with the kind of interlude concentrated in “Boo! female dog!” and the half-ass conclusion to the canonical, tear-away “Everybody Dies” (which is worth more for the artist’s vocals and fun lyrical polemic).

‘TURN OFF THE LIGHT’ is an incredible album whose two parts finally come together in what can only be called a snapshot of classic horror (the sound, of course). Like so many films that represent the genre in question, this phonographic piece is engaging from start to finish – and perhaps the best way to start celebrating Halloween.

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