PHOTO CREDIT: Jules Tatham
Rarely are sequels much more accomplished than their predecessors, but South Carolina's Ahomari (they/them) committed to that impossible mission. Girl Kiss II—the sprawling and expansive continuation of last year’s Girl Kiss EP—finds the Black queer artist crossing their own intersections by tearing up the roadmap. Anchored by yearning but weightless in every other way, the release feels beamed in from another galaxy where crushes, vibes, and identity exist in imperfect, but welcome, harmony.
Girl Kiss II, like any sci-fi classic, is best taken as a seamless and cinematic whole, where vignettes and interludes add to their cosmic zone. When singled out, “Crush” is a proper teaser of the experience. Sticky electronic production heads to the forefront while Ahomari’s voice dips between curiosity and exasperation. Guest vocalist Taphari adds to the atmosphere, because it always takes two. “My Vibe” is built off a sparkling piano loop and a murky bass crawl, while “Ur Type” flips the script with roomy drum production and Ahomari’s threaded vocal layering. “CLOSECLOSECLOSE” scrapes and distorts while reaching out for connection, a noisy yet sparse offering that hangs lost in space while the arrangement orbits in and out. It’s all here on Girl Kiss II: loneliness, dependence, and reflection—just make it double.
Girl Kiss II (9/25/20)
PRESS FOR AHOMARI
“Called arguably “Columbia’s most prolific songwriter” by the Free Times, South Carolina-based Ahomari is changing up the game.” — Afropunk
“South Carolinian artist Ahomari wavers between synth-pop, experimental electronica, and lo-fi beats in a sound that's entrancing and complex. They've said that they use music to cope with the stresses of being a queer Black person based in the South, and that sublime, escapist feeling in their music translates to listeners.” — Popdust
“If you fall under its spell, Ahomari’s music will linger with you like some half-forgotten dream.” — Free Times