KIB ELEKTRA “Blemishes EP” (Bezirk Tapes)

Yes the vocal trills in opener “Breaking Skies” are somewhat Björky, and that can either be a good or a bad thing depending on how you’ve oriented yourself on that divide (I like Björk quite a bit). But Kib Elektra, the recording moniker of London-based Ali Bailey, breaks that mold quickly with “Hairclips,” which has a, dare I say, Dido vibe. (I have a soft spot for Dido. Shut up.) It is perhaps too reductive to compartmentalize Blemishes in such a way, and here I am going to have to back off and back up, lest I dig myself too deep a hole.

Kib Elektra is an inventive musician, a wonderful singer, who has a great ear for melody. The production is exquisite – there’s not a track on here that I didn’t say, “Wow, that sounds fantastic” to. There are electronic pop nuggets (see above) and minimal torch songs (“Blemishes”), along with downtempo earworms that shift and pivot with ease within their frameworks (“Din & Drone,” “Hermeto”). Your tolerance for the aforementioned artists might color your experience of this cassette, but I proudly plop them here because I like it and them (or them and it, depending on orientation). This EP is, start to finish, a joy to listen to, and it’s too short. So hey, meet me at Rough Trade East, and we’ll see if there are any copies left over. (It’s stocked there, right?)

--Ryan Masteller