Undoubtedly overflowing with creativity, Finnish artist Lili Aslo, or Knife Girl, is yet to let one style define her, a fact made evident by the kaleidoscopic musical metamorphosis her sound has undergone since embarking on this journey at just 15 years of age. Now 20, a new chapter sees a great stride forward, shifting away from the more organic, left of centre indie-meets-electro sounds of her previous moniker, Olli, to the more synth-driven, and overall resounding personality of Knife Girl.
Whilst there are still echoes of previous works throughout this fundamentally debut project, Metro is a decidedly fresh foray from an artist who continues to effortlessly explores genre with her articulate creative identity weaving together typically disparate themes in a manner entirely her own. Nonchalantly, she offers in an email statement that, “I've compiled some songs I recorded at home the past year for this EP. Some are more goofy than others, but they all represent some part of me.”
First up is the title track, "Metro," which is a dizzying mix of unrelentingly upbeat rhythms, grooving bass lines and slick guitar licks that are compellingly offset by the eery textures and bordering on a haunting, reverb-drenched vocal. On paper, it might sound as if those two marked themes wouldn't gel, but in this instance they do, with the hooky vocal melody playing off that union with sardonic aplomb.
The lead single, "give it 2 yu," follows, and a theme that's perpetuated throughout the EP rises to the surface, which is that it subtly subverts expectations at every turn; whether it's lyricism or sonics, it opposes the typical formula and offhandedly overturns them with wonderfully warped finesse. "For the sound of that track," Aslo elucidates, "I took inspiration from various disco-funk records from the 1980s. Lyrically it's a parody of the sexual and objectifying lyrics you would often find in those records.”
"How U Really Feel" continues in the same vein, with an affably jovial production that harkens back to iconic electro-pop sounds, and whilst in any typical instance, the lyricism would perpetuate that motif, it delivers an introspective lyrical narrative of interpersonal connection and love lost instead. The penultimate track, "in Da summer," employs a hypnotic guitar loop and off-kilter thudding rhythm to slow the pace of the project, romanticising the freedom of youth and intertwining it with the uncertainty of the future as she goes.
Concluding with "if you leave me now," Knife Girl delivers her version of a heartbroken ballad, with the pounding drums steadily marching on alongside the otherwise wholly tranquil ending.
Metro is available now via Soliti / Playground Music.