KUČKA's 'Wrestling' Is the Revelation of a Pop Auteur

BY Mathias PageauPublished Apr 29, 2021

Whoever said "Heavy is the head that wears the crown" should consider the burden imposed on the heir to the throne. KUČKA might know a thing or two about that. For the past few years, the UK-born, Australia-based producer also known as Laura Jane Lowther has collaborated with some of the biggest names out there from Vince Staples to Flume, all the while tinkering with songs that now form Wrestling, a proper debut album that might soon cement her pop star status.

What could have been a vanity project — one more overstuffed pop album engineered to maximize streams — is in fact a thrilling ensemble of electronic songs that borrow the sheen of R&B and pop music while cultivating its weirdness. Evoking '90s-era Björk, KUČKA uses this album to test the form and the structures of what a song can be, from the refined clarity of the confidential ballad "Patience" to the bubbly excitement of the oblique banger "Sky Brown."

Detuned synth tones and layered textures blend in with Lowther's crystalline voice, often letting the lyrics melt into the mix, as if to veil their introspective nature. KUČKA has again and again proven her talent for complex hooks and catchy melodies, which are at the forefront here on "Drowning" and "Afterparty".

For better or worse, Wrestling isn't the birth of a star, but rather the revelation of a pop auteur who deserves her place amongst the long list of her illustrious collaborators.

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