kick iiii

Arca

kick iiii

Compared to the strutting reggaetón of KICK ii and the demonic club experiments of KicK iii, kick iiii captures Arca at her most serene. The crooning “Xenomorphgirl” is a kind of cyborg lullaby; “Esuna” curls up like a kitten in the soft swirls of Oliver Coates’ strings. But serenity is not the same as docility, and kick iiii also features some of Arca’s most coolly triumphant work to date. On the self-empowerment anthem “Queer,” Planningtorock testifies to their “tears of power,” while on “Alien Inside,” Garbage’s Shirley Manson solemnly intones the virtues of Arca’s self-proclaimed “mutant faith” over a shimmering shoegaze backdrop. Most affecting of all is Arca’s own proclamation on “Lost Woman Found”: “I’ve been walking toward the light for years now/And it’s the first time I feel the sun’s warmth on my skin, now that it’s my own/A lost woman, found.” The quest for one’s true identity has long been at the center of Arca’s work, and here at the heart of her sprawling, futuristic bildungsroman, she channels years of trauma into something like peace.

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