Kimbra's New Song, "90s Music," Is an Incredibly Ambitious, Impressive Mix of Genres

Slate's Culture Blog
May 6 2014 9:56 PM

Kimbra's New Song, "90s Music," Is an Incredibly Ambitious, Impressive Mix of Genres

kimbra
Kimbra's latest is chaotic, refreshing mish-mash music.

Still from YouTube

Kimbra, for those not quite familiar with up-and-coming New Zealand pop singers, is most notable for being Gotye's collaborator on the huge, Grammy-winning hit "Somebody That I Used to Know." But the artist is no flash in the pan: only 24, she's currently working on the follow-up to her 2011 debut album, Vows. Now we have a cut, "90s Music," from that still-untitled album, and it's an impressive medley of musical styles.

It's tough to peg Kimbra's influences here, because the song has a bit of everything: There's a Sleigh Bells-like electronic vocal, plenty of found-material sampling, and a rousing chorus that somehow combines 8-bit, chiptune glitches with a bubblegum pop melody and heavy guitar chords. It's a constantly surprising track, and its ambition more than compensates for the jarring, random shifts in sound and style. Check it out below.

Sharan Shetty is a writer for Brow Beat. You can follow him on Twitter

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 16 2014 11:56 AM Iran and the U.S. Are Allies Against ISIS but Aren’t Ready to Admit It Yet
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 16 2014 10:17 AM How Jack Ma Founded Alibaba
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 16 2014 8:00 AM The Wall Street Bombing: Low-Tech Terrorism in Prohibition-era New York
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 16 2014 12:05 PM Slim Pickings at the Network TV Bazaar Three talented actresses in three terrible shows.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 12:01 PM More Than 3 Million Told the FCC What They Think About Net Neutrality. Why Hasn't Obama?
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 16 2014 7:30 AM A Galaxy of Tatooines
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.