When Karen Stenz Lundqvist released her first single “YOU KILL ME WITH A WORD (aim your gun)” as Kaizer, we knew this isn’t just another pop artist making songs. She had a vision for the project, a clear idea of her identity, and an original approach towards building an image. The EP “Crying Like a Rose” confirmed our predictions of this artist’s uniqueness.
At first, I thought of Kazier as an amalgamation of MØ and Florence + the Machine, with a hint of Danishness and darkness similar to Kill J. After listening to “Crying Like a Rose” a few times, the comparison started to fall apart. Despite this being her debut, Kaizer mastered the art of musical persona creation. Everything, starting from her looks, through to her communication with the listener, her sound, production, arrangement, is thought through incredibly well. The originality makes it nearly impossible to label her, let alone compare her to other musicians.
Kaizer’s pop is playful and unconventional; it flirts with dark electronica in a subtle, intelligent way. She goes from showing a gloomy face in the opening “The Prologue” and “Monsters” to the playful and bright “FAMOUS!” and “YOU KILL ME WITH A WORD (aim your gun)”. The EP is a sound equivalent of a comet falling in the night sky. We have a heavier opening when it is still dark, and you can feel the tension, the waiting for something to happen. Then the title track acts as a bridge, combining the two parts of the release, we see the first glimpse of magnificent light. The last two songs are a pop comet in its full grace, with a long, bright tail of light. Mesmerizing, beautiful, and out of this world.
What strikes me about Kaizer’s EP is the combination of fragile feminine energy with an industrial, rough sound. It’s like watching Dorothy and the Tin Man from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” dancing together. Elements that in theory shouldn’t match, work like a charm in Kaizer’s compositions. She is not afraid of experimenting, and you can hear that “Crying Like a Rose” was made in an atmosphere of complete artistic freedom.
I hope that Kaizer will continue to shine in the sky of the music industry and brings us more surprising and courageous music in the years to come.