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Live Review: LALKA gives pop music a radical edge with the incendiary 'Shut Up'

18 April 2018 | 3:22 pm | Kyle Fensom

LALKA gives pop its radical edge back with 'Shut Up', an incendiary expression of defiance in which she finds her own voice amidst chaos

Brisbane-based producer LALKA has released her first material of 2018, following up last year’s breakout singles with ‘Shut Up’, an incendiary display of defiance and self-empowerment.

A chaotic, pyrotechnic display that immediately puts you on edge and then ratchets up the intensity levels through industrial, droning bass synths, abrasive bursts of white noise, manipulated percussion and hyper-agitated plucking synths. Amidst this chaos, LALKA finds her own voice moving between the otherworldly vocals of her upper register, the confidently self-empowered swagger of the spoken chorus and bursts of her own rapidfire rapping. It feels as though the track itself can barely contain LALKA with her distinct vocal styles crashing into one another at increasing rates.

With strong overtures of influence from GRIMES,‘Shut Up’ gives pop music its radical edge back as LALKA harnesses the genre as a weapon of mass destruction in a powerful expression of individuality and defiance against the encroaching voices of criticism. “I feel the echo of your words in my head / I try to ignore the words that you said / Stop messing with my vibe,” she sings as she remains fully in control of the incendiary chaos at the heart of the track.

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The release of the single also comes with the announcement of ‘LALKA+FRIENDS’, a new, roving, semi-regular club night curated by LALKA that aims to nurture a thriving local club scene through centring music, people, inclusivity and genuine connection. Inspired by similar events hosted by YAEJI in New York and a fascination with the intersection of musical and fashion subcultures, the first installment will feature REBEL YELL and DEATH CLUB 7 at Brisbane’s Bloodhound Bar on Friday, May 18.

LALKA explains that with LALKA+FRIENDS she “[wants] people to connect with the music on a much more intimate level than they would at a major nightclub. I want them to feel the immediacy of the music, so I’m going to make sure that there isn’t a great divide between artist and audience. I want them to dance in any way that they feel comfortable in, or stay in the fringes just to soak up the music.”