Movement: Soul, R&B
Lane: SZA, Doja Cat
Kali Uchis was supposed to be rolling out her album by now. Like nearly everything else in the music industry however, Kali Uchis’ next LP has been pushed back indefinitely and in its absence, Uchis has dropped TO FEEL ALIVE, to tide fans over.
COVID-19 has irreparably altered time in 2020. In March, days on the calendar flittered by in a blink of an eye. Now, at the start of May, days have lost meaning. Slowly, the days slip by and still we wonder how it’s already Friday. With the world ground to a halt and the music industry a receding oasis, Uchis' four song EP, TO FEEL ALIVE - brimming with sultry R&B tracks - perpetually whets the appetite.
Without a full platter, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter presents herself, bite sized. As the nursery rhyme tones of ‘Honey Baby (SPOILED!)’ leisurely pass by, Uchis’ breathless singing melts over the track while she “love the way you treat me, love the way you touch me.” It’s slow, it’s sensual, it’s sexy and it’s summery. And she does it again on ‘I Want War’, at glacial speed, as Uchis’ laments “I wish I had the time that you’ve taken.” Aided by heartbeat drums and elegant keys it slows to a crawl while her voice surrounds all within earshot in just over a couple minutes.
No song on TO FEEL ALIVE runs longer than three minutes and yet Uchis’ pace constantly stretches beyond their runtime. Chorus-verse-outro is all Uchis needs to show how mouth-watering she can be to anyone around her. Uchis has been here before, on Por Vida, its where 'Honey Baby' and 'Angel' evolved from unreleased snippets ‘Honey Baby’ and ‘Pablo Escobar’ that never made the debut. The unending entrees then are now delectable amuse-bouches without a second verse.
Only ten minutes long, TO FEEL ALIVE creates an insatiability only fulfilled by repeat listens. The songs roll into each other effortlessly and coupled with their time bending effect TO FEEL ALIVE is a lazy Susan of endless hors d'oeuvres. The cycle feels like it'll never end, but when it does, we'll still be here, salivating.
Fire: Honey Baby (SPOILED!), angel, i want war (BUT I NEED PEACE)