Kat Koan, the bubbling-under Berlin-based electro pop artist provocateur has switched gears and made a balls-to-the-wall indie rock album called Cocoon that grabs you by your goolies and doesn’t let go.
Metaphorically speaking of course.
The album opens with the cheeky, upbeat Fangs Out (spoken repeated refrain: “get down on all fours / get your fangs out”) through indierock treatment of Kylie Minogue’s Slow, further playfulness with You’re Cool (“you’re wickedly offbeat / gosh, you look good on my bedsheet”) and closes with Salt, a slow, sad and sparse number about the death of a relationship where Kat Koan surprises everyone by suddenly turning serious.
The phrase tour de force gets bandied about much too often and too glibly, but it definitely applies here. From start to finish, the album holds together as a single artwork, sonically homogenous, semantically unsatiated, dripping with a combination of fuck-you attitude, a determination to grab the listener by the lapels and give them a good shake, and a tongue-in-cheek playfulness that makes you think that Kat is just enjoying herself hugely throughout.
And it’s this combination of unwillingness to relent and aforementioned joyful playfulness that characterises the album and lifts it waaay above its competition. Add to that the fun that you hear Kat, an acutely clever lyricist, having with the words in the songs, and an extremely high level of musicianship and production quality, and you have Cocoon.
Catch Kat Koan live on 16.11 at Marie Antoinette, Berlin – together with Freddie Dickson and Mone – tickets available here
The album was written and recorded with the Belgian producer and guitarist Raymond Rose, who Kat met and then worked with on the songs and the recording over the internet, without ever having met in person – until he came over after the album was finished to play in the music video.
Kat Koan has also made a statement with the release of the album, has drawn a line in the sand, by releasing it only as vinyl and mp3 via Bandcamp. She – as the bolder and more determined artists are starting to do – has decided to completely eschew the streaming services that have been sucking the blood out of musicians for the last decade or so, with the unsustainable model that it represents for all but the most massive stars. Now that, you gotta applaud.
Can’t wait to hear what she’s got in store for us next!