Premiere: The Hazy Hypnosis of Kinky Love’s “Glamour Child”

Kinky Love © 2017
Recommended If You Like: Broods, Warpaint, CLAVVS, XYLO

Darkness hangs on the edges of Kinky Love’s new song, “Glamour Child.” Like clouds gathering before a storm, ominous synths craft a melancholic haze into which our ears and hearts dive, swaying to the rhythm as Kinky Love envelop us with a cathartic gloom.

Strange walkin’ in the room
It’s just another mood
This emotion
She caught me in the truth
Do you want it all?
Say I’m supposed to use
This emotion
Listen: “Glamour Child” – Kinky Love

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Glamour Child,” the second release from Kinky Love’s new double single “Our Time (Mind Reader)/Glamour Child.” Consisting of Xoe Wise, David Darrko, Dan Zima, and Alan Shinkunas, Chicago pop quartet Kinky Love evoke a dreamily romantic ‘indie pop’ sound that wraps the listener in aural waves, charming us into a downtempo hazy hypnosis.

Long night, lost time
You like the glamorous life
You got the suite on the top floor
You take what you need but you want more
Glamour Child - Kinky Love

Glamour Child – Kinky Love

“Glamour Child” is filled with a great, deep pain. We enter through the ethereal haze, those somber piano tones vaguely reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s brooding soundscape on “No Quarter.” Unlike Zeppelin’s immersive experience, however, Kinky Love set the surrounding instrumentation aside in favor of a more pop-centric, vocal-heavy production style. Frontwoman Xoe Wise is miked hot and center; when she sings, it feels like she’s right next to our ears.

Such intimacy is perfect for “Glamour Child,” which examines a failed relationship from both perspectives. “Do you wonder, ever wonder, would I choose you if you were younger?” sing co-vocalists Wise and David Darrko in the song’s mesmerizing chorus.

Do you wonder, ever wonder
Would I choose you if you were younger?
Dress you up and give you away?

Shivers plunge down the spine as deep beats engulf us in warmth. Though we feel powerful absences in moments of instrumentation – particularly between chorus and verse – “Glamour Child” feels dynamically stagnant, as though Kinky Love purposefully wanted to withhold the fully range of feeling that one might experience from this song. It’s a brilliant strategy that leaves us wanting more – we know what could have been, just as the song’s two narrators understand the relationship that was lost in going their separate ways.

"Glamour Child" © Zoe Rain

“Glamour Child” © Zoe Rain

“‘Glamour Child’ started mainly with the drumbeat and some very improvisational vocals from Xoe, even before there was much in the way of instruments,” recalls Kinky Love’s David Darrko. “We sort of let her singing guide everything else that got added to the track, for the most part.” Wise’s incredibly evocative singing  brings out the subtle flavors in “Glamour Child,” giving the song the strength and color it needs to surpass an otherwise monotone environment.

Regardless of the images one conjures up from their band name, Kinky Love definitely know how to get it on. “Glamour Child” is achingly dark and bittersweet, a forlorn yet emotionally distant exploration of painful separation. We feel the weight of loss as vividly as Wise and Darrko do, only just like we often do in real life, that pain is blurred, sedated like a numb wound you would rather ignore than actually treat.

Because treating it means acknowledging its existence, and all the baggage that comes with it. If we’re even a little numb, then the sting doesn’t feel quite as bad.

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Glamour Child - Kinky Love

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com