PREMIERE: Kid Koala Sets Emilíana Torrini “Adrift” in New Video

From the duo's excellent collaborative album Music To Draw To: Satellite.

At first blush, the music Kid Koala is making with Icelandic singer Emilíana Torrini seems to have nothing in common with the bright-toned, sample-heavy music that’s made his reputation since 2000’s Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Music To Draw To: Satellite is composed of long, slow pieces that evolve slowly. They largely eschew pop structures and closure in general, instead acting as dilating moments of expression: they open, they expose a nerve, and they retreat. It’s one of the reasons we chose Satellite as one of the records we’re most excited for this year.

But as demonstrated by the aptly named “Adrift,” whose video we’re premiering today, Satellite is very much of a piece with Koala’s work to date—it’s just comprised of different elements. The Delta samples and stomping rhythms of 2012’s 12 Bit Blues are nowhere to be heard, but the song’s shape is familiar; where before the unwinding of a Koala track felt like an afternoon stroll through a very well-stocked record store, here he brings us on a similarly peripatetic tour of an entirely different—and less commodified—world of friendly drones and found percussion.

Torrini, somewhat incredibly, finds a jazzy strain in the groan of blue feedback and clatter and boom. Her voice skips over Koala’s soundscape like a stone, hopping from landing point to landing point with a sing-songy easiness that belies—or at least complicates—the song’s lyric. “Sometimes it’s easier just to stay blue,” she sings from among the organ folds while bells ring in the very distant background.

Accordingly, the video creates space that seems at first blush to be simply a container for Torrini’s voice. But just like Koala’s track, its sporadic splashes are an attraction enough on their own. You can check it out below.

Music To Draw To: Satellite is out now via Arts + Crafts.


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