Aesthetic is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. Shadowy Tumblr pics, bad graphic design, Word Art, floral wallpaper, 80s album art and anything baby pink or powder blue – all of these things are aesthetic. It’s a word that we toss around without really knowing whether we’re using it right (we’re not), only knowing that these days our tired Millennial brains can only comprehend things as either ‘aesthetic’ or ‘not aesthetic’. There are no other categories, there is no good or bad, there is only aesthetic and not aesthetic. This is the future liberals want.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the new video by London-raised artist KWAYE is definitely quite a bit aesthetic. Stylish and well choreographed, it’s the perfect accompaniment to his new single, ‘Cool Kids’, a smooth, RnB-lilted slice of shiny synth pop.
From its opening summery beat that evolves into the shimmery, quietly vibrant pulse of the verse, ‘Cool Kids’ is a track that demands your attention, surprising given its casual, laid-back vibe. But ‘Cool Kids’ doesn’t need to make a lot of noise to make a statement. KWAYE cuts together different beats and rhythms, blending them together in a track that chops and changes as it pleases, totally seamlessly, without effort, flowing like melted ice cream down your chin, but like, in a nice way.
And it’s not just the sophisticated arrangement that’s to love here. KWAYE’s lyrics are thoughtful and poetic, his voice as smooth and inviting as the synths that bloom and ripple behind him as he sings about boys of ‘burgundy brown’ and ‘smoking trees and twilight scenes’. His vocals sway between laid-back and something more urgent, at times barely distinguishable from the gentle throb of the synths while at others towering above them, his voice rising to a more dominant, soulful chant as the track reaches its final stages.
At only 22 years old, KWAYE shows his star is on the ascendant with his latest track, a song that establishes him as a huge rising talent and undoubtedly very much one of the cool kids.