It sounds like Kacy Hill is one of those lucky right-place-right-time people. She started out as a model (which could explain why she looks familiar, especially if you’ve ever seen American Apparel advertisements). This modelling work somehow led on into dancing, which landed her a role as a stage dancer on Kanye West’s Yeezus tour. Hill somehow managed to capture Ye’s attention, and after listening to her demo backstage, he decided to sign her to his label G.O.O.D Music.
If you’re not a Kanye fan, don’t let this put you off. This isn’t a hip hop release. Although it is definitely manufactured pop.
HIll has a great voice. The most similar name I can think of is Florence Welch (of Florence + the Machine).
First track “Foreign Fields” features crackles and static to give it a warm, vinyl-like feel. It’s a simple song that showcases Hill’s stunning voice, accompanied by crisp piano. There is a trip-hop vibe to it, with a handclap metranome transforming into an electro drum beat. The chorus feels messy with extra effects that make Hills sound distant and echo-y, but it helps to contrast against the slightly sterile verses.
EP highlight “Arm’s Length” takes us into Florence + Machine territory, with upliftingly cooed choruses and ethereal bridges. It’s a joyous anthem that marries delicacy with club music. “Shades of Blue” brings the mood down. The thunderous drums are cool, but I question why Hill chose such a gloomy song as the closing track. When a début EP like this only contains three songs, each song needs to be strong enough to all make a positive statement. Ending on a depressing note taints the overall experience.
The piano-led gospel-come-pop works well, although the overproduction and excessive effects don’t always serve to enhance the music. The songs work best when striped right back to the basics of just piano and vocals. As they say, less is more. Hill’s voice is gorgeous, and I’d far rather listen to her than half the tripe that plays on the radio these days. This short taster is a promising show of Hill’s potential. Let’s just hope that in the future she can let the songs do the talking, instead of hiding behind unnecessary overproduction.