It seems that isolation is really bringing out the creative energy for a lot of musicians, one including Sydney’s pop prodigy Kota Banks. After a whirlwind few years stemming off the back of her 2018 album ‘PRIZE’, the lockdown has given her some downtime to dive into some experimentation and play with different genres and styles, as seen in her latest 4-track release ‘Sweet & the Spice’.
We get elements of rap in EP opener ‘Snip Snip’ where scattered beats and clunky melodies provide a powerful anthem, “he wanna treat me like shit and still be on good terms” the song belongs to anyone whose been screwed over and come out the other side stronger and more fierce than ever; a true ‘boss bitch’ anthem.
Smooth synths and pitched choppy vocals encapsulate ‘Never Sleep’ as we dive into a deep dance track. Seductive and taunting “I got the sweet and the spice / I know that’s what you like” Banks nails the drunk in love club vibe. Riding the high of love and being intoxicated by life and the confidence and free-spirit it provides, the EP navigates both sides of the page, as ‘Let You Leave’ flips a 180.
As Banks herself describes “The main theme is creativity and chaos. This year has been so unpredictable… I got to stay home and write so much more than anticipated, so it felt important to react to the times and release more spontaneously” we see the rollercoaster begin to form in ‘Let You Leave’. “Now we’re chilling at my house / chilling on the couch / tryna figure out how to go without you”, it has a Charlie XCX-style to it, the heartbreak party vibe executed through fast-paced beats and disjointed pitch-shifting vocals where we’ve fallen into emotional chaos.
Back on a high, ‘Yes’ is a pure romantic pop track, it’s chorus soaring to the skies as synths carry us away to the euphoria of becoming obsessed with a new love “I’ll admit I’m a mess / I’m a little obsessed with you” it’s a perfect pop song full of vulnerability. As Banks carries passion in her airy vocals that blend with the heavenly chorus, it emanates that warm bubbly feeling of experiencing butterflies for someone.