New EP: "GEMiNi" by KiNG MALA
Motivational Muses Review | by: Zoe Waggit
Released on: December 4, 2020
Cover Artwork by: Johann Ramos
Los Angeles’ Areli Castro, better known as KiNG MALA, released her debut EP GEMiNi at the beginning of December 2020, after having only been making music for just over a year. Six tracks long, the EP explores the alternative soul artist’s alter ego – it’s powerful, confident, and unapologetic, but there’s also a vulnerable and honest side to her music.
“sugarblind” is a gorgeous introductory track. A dirty guitar riff adds darkness, a mystery, to the single, which is backed up by Castro’s slow, smooth lyrics. The instrumentals provide a jazz vibe, making it hard not to sway back and forth whilst listening. This same sort of mood is provided in track two, “If I Try to Find You.” Close your eyes, and you’re taken to a dark jazz bar with a cigarette in one hand and a whisky in the other. The chorus comes with a little more ‘oomph,’ and the tempo is taken up a notch. It’s catchy. Sure to be a crowd favorite!
“Homebody” flicks a switch stylistically, introducing the other side of Castro. The opening lyric, “my social anxiety has got me violently sippin’ on some gin and soda, wishing it could all be over,” makes you laugh, it’s that relatable. This track talks about the need for validation, and sometimes just enjoying your own company more than going out and trying to be somebody you’re not. Being a homebody. It does what it says on the tin.
“B4U” is quite clearly a track about love. “This heart was hollow, so hard to swallow, B4U.” Cute, right? KiNG MALA uses soft instrumentals and vocals to portray the sweet, mellow love she’s feeling. It's a heartwarming track, through and through! Again, a switch-up occurs when we jump into the next track, “Give Me,” and this darkness, almost seductiveness, returns. Strong vocals that bear a resemblance to those of Billie Eilish, the pounding, stinted music and impressive sound effects help us see the bad bitch MALA was talking about. Sensual, imposing, stunning.
Finally, we’re greeted with “Funeral,” which sees out the EP as strongly as we were introduced to it. Everything comes across so much more projected in this track: Castro’s voice is louder, and her voice keeps alternating between my right and left ear – think this would feel quite unsettling, right? Wrong. Instead I felt surrounded by the sound. The shortest track on the EP, but probably my favourite, the echo at the end left me in awe!
Described as “Billie Eilish meets Banks,” KiNG MALA touches on themes such as lust, recklessness, and badass femininity; never conforming to what everybody else wants, she’s doing this, creating her sound, entirely for her. C’mon, her alias literally means “king bad bitch.” Need I say more?
Give GEMiNi a listen today on all music streaming platforms. Make sure to follow KiNG MALA on all social media to stay updated on upcoming projects.
KiNG MALA is the alternative soul project of artist Areli Castro from Los Angeles, California.
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