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Mykki Blanco Mykki !K7

To define Mykki Blanco by genre is to miss the point entirely. Following three mix-tapes, three EPs and a group project, the creative polymath has stretched boundaries with anomalous, intense musical output spanning uncompromising hip-hop, riot grrrl-influenced lo-fi punk and industrial techno. It’s been five years since the debut Mykki Blanco performance at New York’s Ghe20G0th1k party, and now we have Blanco’s debut retail album Mykki, which is an expansive testament to this versatility – and, for some, surprising – proof of the artist’s pop sensibilities.

Loner, for example, is a great pop song in many ways; despite its lyrical exploration of depression and abandonment (“I’m fucked up / I’m so sad / I need help / I know that”), the song is armed with beautiful melodies, hypnotic production and a glitchy earworm chorus designed to linger. Tripped-out ballad High School Never Ends is another highlight; psychedelic lyrics and hazy vocals gradually build up to Woodkid’s wounded, emotive cries of “Why don’t you just delete me?” It’s a revelation of the album’s thematic core: love and loss.

This theme is most prominent in a spoken-word interlude, in which Blanco muses on desire before deciding that self-love and self-respect are crucial facilitators of intimacy. Tellingly, Blanco’s poetry precedes the album’s most personal track, You Don’t Know Me, a musical exorcism of past sins: “Save me for my heart is bitter, Lord, I need the light”.