If there is only one album you are going to listen to today, it should be this one.
It has been a long, long time coming. And by that, we really do mean a long time.
6 years after dropping her first release under her new moniker, 3 years after releasing her first longer record (the amazing EP “Quasi”) and almost a year after debuting the lead single “Strange Fruits of the Sea”, we are finally being blessed with the debut album of Danish singer-songwriter KILL J.
Hailed as “the future of Scandinavian pop” by Pigeons & Planes, KILL J, also known as Julie Aaagard, can already look back onto an impressive career that encompasses live sessions at BBC Radio 1 and placements on Zane Lowe’s Beats1.
Now, we are entering a new stage with the unveiling of her first full-length record.
The album is titled “Superpositon”. It takes inspiration from the Superposition theory, and largely deals with the singer’s fascination with the multiverse theory as well as her own personal struggles during the process of recording it. The singer shies away from nothing: topics vary from immigration and racism (“Strange Fruits of the Sea”), sexism in the industry (“Dead Weight Soldier”) to her obsession with science (“Moon Sick”).
It’s a new beginning for KILL J as she lets go of all the anger and troubles she faced in the last few years and takes us on a road inside her stormy mind.
Produced largely with the help of long-time collaborator Jon Ørom as well as first-time collaborator Liam Howe (who also helped shaped the sounds of recordy by Marina & The Diamonds and Lana Del Rey), “Superposition” is one of the most cohesive albums of the year. Slow-burning, dark and fascinating, KILL J has refined her art and carved out a new genre just for herself. It is just the right mixture of Scandinavian noir and alternative pop music, sometimes more left-leaning than expected (“Silver Spoon”, “Addicted”) and sometimes even diving into Grade-A pop music (“Stutter”, “Second Chance”).
The album kicks off with one of the record’s highlights (and KILL J’s favorite): the enticing “Entangled” that truly captures the essence of what makes KILL J so great. Intriguing, playful and thoughtful, Julie reminisces about how she “danced with your ghost in my arms”. It is a track that shines due to its subdued nature, its nuanced production and -obviously- the singer’s amazing vocals.
“Entangled” serves as the perfect opener thanks to exactly this: it showcases the three core elements of a typical KILL J song on a higher level. It also eases the listener into an album that smoothly switches between one contrast to another and helps set the tone for the upcoming 14 tracks.
Another must-listen to is “Stutter”. A late entry to the album, “Stutter” is the most uplifting track on the LP and provides the perfect contrast to its downtempo companions. While lyrically still not the most happy track (“I’m falling deeper, I really need you (…) sorry I yelled at you”, Julie sweatly repeats during the chorus), “Stutter” is one of those tracks that are catchy without being cheesy, poppy but not in a you’ve-heard-it-all-before-type of way. It is simple but not cliché.
Go check it out right here:
“Superposition” in total is not, and we have to admit that, not an easy listen. It is brooding, twisted and keeps you hooked with its twists and turns. Unintentionally a concept album, it perfectly presents its listener with the ups and downs, the highs and lows, that life unwantingly brings with itself. It is the manifesto of a woman who has gone through hell, privately and in her work life, but survived and came out even stronger. And you can hear it with every beat and every note KILL J utters.
“Superposition” is one of those albums that truly does pull you closer and closer into its own multi-faceted universe the more spins you give it and keeps you wanting to hit the repeat button so you can continue to discover its depths.
Stand-out tracks in our opinions are the lead single “Addicted”, the aforementioned “Entangled”, “Cloud Chamber”, as well as the uplifiting “Stutter”.
Feel free to listen to the full album right here:
In case you now want to find out which of those tracks was inspired by elevator music, what KILL J’s own take on the album is and why her feature endeavors are actually a bit different from what you might expect, you are more than welcome to check out our interview with her right here.
“Superposition” is now available for streaming and purchase on the digital retailer and streaming platform of your choice. It was released today via Nettwerk Record.
What do you think about KILL J’s debut album? What is your favorite track? Tell us all about it @CelebMix.