EP Review: O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes | KunD!
Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Whenever I come across an EP or album that uses the word 'Tapes' in its title, I mysteriously believe that I'm about to experience the gem of a star in the making. Let's see if that's the case with 'The Pvrple Tapes' by the Georgia-based KunD!
'Twilight' starts rolling the 'Tapes' with an uneasy melody of confident, edgy keys over bubbly, celestial sounds. The track invites its listeners to get invested like they would do for a new Bjork track, uncomfortable in its abstraction. The velvet-smooth vocals of KunD! could only remind me of Serpentwithfeet, airy and sensual like a blurry aura.
'Nightbounce' follows to claim a place inside our heads with an addictive chorus: 'Nightbounce - What you're gonna do when the light's down?'. The song is totally contrasting with 'Twilight' since it's easier to digest, expanding the style to more commercial, radio-ready grounds thanks to its pop/trap character. The track offers a darker version of itself, inventively placed after the original, feeling like a transition from the earthly to the underworld. Just like the recent, controversial 'Montero' video where Lil Nas X pole dances his way from Heaven to Hell, but make it Sci-Fi!
Then we have 'Apogee' which feels more like a standalone piece rather than the interlude it's introduced as. The singing style and vocal effects remind us of The Weeknd BUT with the twist of an epic ending of sharp synths, almost like trombones announcing the arrival of a royal figure in a futuristic kingdom.
'Moonwalker' comes to seal this style and feels like an instant hit by the very first second it starts playing. A dreamy piece to fall in love with and maybe the perfect soundtrack for young lovers in the 80's. The beat is vintage as that and the atmosphere is filled with eroticism, inspired by a man, dark and seductive as a demon in the night.
'The Pvrple Tapes' slowly come to an end with a heavy bass, promising a dark trip in 'Final Phase/Dawn', only to fly us to a pink - dawning sky to rest on white and gold clouds. Is this too much? Well, that's an exact visualization of how this 6-minute sonic dream feels like. Deeply heart-warming and profound.
I can safely say that KunD! blessed the contemporary indie pop scene with his work in 'O, Solemn Night'. We are gifted with a blend of all the modern materials, skillfully produced into a mix that dwells between The Weeknd and Serpentwithfeet but definitely deserves a chair of its own.