Review: Kinlaw stuns on her debut album

The singer blends moody melodies with genre-pushing emo pop

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‘The Tipping Scale’ is bound to put the artist on the map.

There has long been a trend of dark, moody pop in the mainstream for nearly a decade now. Spanning from Lorde to Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers, none have gone to the lengths that Kinlaw has on ‘The Tipping Scale’. Kinlaw, a lesser-known brooding pop artist has more experience in the music industry than most young popstars do combined.

The artist has developed significant experience as a choreographer, composer, and now up-and-coming pop artist. She’s collaborated with other big-time names including SOPHIE and Dan Deacon, yet it’s not until now that she’s beginning to enter a new level of popularity across the general public.

Kinlaw’s debut LP, ‘The Tipping Scale’, has been in the works for quite some time, and the album’s sound can prove it. The production is on par with Lorde’s ‘Melodrama’ or Billie Eilish’s debut album, as the sounds tend to evoke a soothing, yet spine-tingling feeling. Over a swift ten tracks, the album explores a handful of distinct genres that offer something for everyone.

While production is sure to be praised by many, the lyrical content is equally stunning. With lyrics that cut deep into the listener as they feel her emotions, her melodies tend to force the listener to get lost in the music itself. The first single, “Blindspot”, showcases Kinlaw’s voice above all else, as she delivers harmonious synths over minimalistic production.

Aside from “Blindspot”, other breakout songs include the upbeat album opener, “The Mechanic”, as well as “There She Is”. On these tracks, Kinlaw explores her vocal range and goes off the beaten path of her normal “sound” that can be heard on other tracks. Each track tends to blend from one into another, with glorious transitions that allow the music to flow through the listener from start to finish.

As the album receives its name from its beautiful concept. The album offers lighter songs that explore growth, change, and finding one’s own identity. On the other hand, it also has no shortage of darker tracks that find Kinlaw facing loss, frustration, and regret. In the end, the listener is given a perfect balance, a tipping scale in a sense.

While Kinlaw is still a relatively unknown artist, she’s bound to be put on the radar with this album. Without many big-name collaborators directly on this project, Kinlaw has proved that she can handle her own weight when it comes to producing and releasing a project of this scale.

In due time, she’ll be collaborating with producers in the same vein as Jack Antonoff (Lorde, Taylor Swift) and FINNEAS (Billie Eilish). It’s only a matter of time before Kinlaw ascends the charts to soaring heights.

‘The Tipping Scale’ is out now via Bayonet Records.

Review: 4.5/5

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