Kee Avil Shares Bewildering New Video and Single, “Gelatin”

For Fans Of: Lucretia Dalt, Mica Levi, Eartheater, Annie Anxiety, Juana Molina,This Heat, SOPHIE, Shygirl, Scott Walker, PJ Harvey

Montréal singer-guitarist-producer Vicky Mettler has honed a bewildering aesthetic as Kee Avil, both visual and sonic, and now she’s sharing a video for “Gelatin,” the third single from Spine. The follow-up to Kee Avil’s widely celebrated 2022 debut, Crease, which touched nerves all over the place.

About the track, jj skolnik writes: “The cloud of industrial ambience that opens ‘Gelatin’ dissipates to reveal a sinister minimalism. Clicking beats are the bed for rhythmic vocals that describe paradox (‘Like a diary with no words…’ / ‘Like a preacher with no voice’). A delicate howl rises in pitch like a tornado funnel: ‘repairing you / destroying me’ — it’s as chilling as it is beautiful.”

On Spine, her sophomore album, Kee Avil strips back her heavily textured compositions, opening up a much rawer sound. She calls it folk—and while traditionalists might scoff, this is urgent music that reflects the precarity of modern life, as well as the jarring mixture of electronic and real-world interactions that have become the fabric of our day-to-day experiences.

There’s a hypnotic post-punk somnambulance to it all, using the repetition and fracturing of melodic phrases interwoven with delicate electronics to create curious and persistent hooks. While not a concept album, themes of time’s passage, remembrance, and decay crop up across multiple tracks. Each track intentionally only has four elements—guitar, electronics, and two other instruments, with Kee’s voice and guitar pushed to the front. Within this minimalist framework, the juxtaposition of beauty and discomfort that is key to the Kee Avil sound stands out in skin-prickling relief. “We’re shaped by many versions of ourselves,” says Avil. “I was looking back at these versions of myself and what could have been, what didn’t end up being and what did end up being, and going back like that through time. Seeing the future, the past.”

How are we feeling about Kee Avil’s wild new single “Gelatin”?

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CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.

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