Author: Zoe Ettinger
Kali Uchis’ latest work, Isolation, sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a vintage Colombian film. And yet, she manages to incorporate so many musical styles: rap, reggae, hip-hop, and soul.
The songs in Isolation begin hazy and amorphous. They soon take shape hit hard. Each song starts out with a lackadaisical, lugubrious intro that soon melds into the groove of the track. Each track certainly has its own groove. Flight 22 begins with an airline flight message, and the track takes an unexpected turn for the deep and soulful. It’s unexpected, but even more unexpected is how fitting it seems like it was simply meant to be that way. Another surprise is the other artists on this album, like Tyler the Creator and Bootsy Collins on After the Storm. While a surprise, it is perhaps one of the best tracks on the album.
Throughout Isolation, Kali sings in English and Spanish. This not only creates diversity, but also a cultural inclusion that not all artists can perform and pull off. It seems that Uchis just knows which songs are meant for English and Spanish. For example, Nuestra Planeta, a love song about the otherworldly magic of two souls intertwined, uses more romantic Spanish.
At just 24 years old, Kali has attempted an ambitious album and her efforts have come to fruition. From the salsa feel of Body Language to BIA’s bilingual rap verse in Miami, and the dream-like alternative feel of Gotta Get Up, Isolation is all-encompassing. The album shows who Kali Uchis is: a strong woman, a young woman, a woman unsure about love, and most definitely a musical badass. Check out Uchis talent and discover a range of sounds you’d be hard-pressed to find in any other artist’s one album.