The most powerful emotions on earth seem to find a voice in the boisterous balladry created by artists unmotivated by the big paydays and bright lights of superstardom, and in “Losing Game” by Kanisha K, pop music fans get a taste of what deeply emotional, cerebral melodies sound like at their most raw and unblemished. Kanisha K has been building up quite the reputation in the last few years, and unlike a lot of her peers, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with her life outside the studio as it relates to the pointless melodramatics commonly associated with our society’s young and restless. Her stylish vocal and highbrow lyricism is as surreal as it is witty, reverent and profoundly intimate on occasion, and with “Losing Game,” which was co-written by none other than Jane Bach, she unequivocally confirms her status as one of the premier voices in the American underground, if not the very face of an exciting new brand of indie pop. It’s her most refined material yet, and that’s hardly a small statement to make.
There’s nothing ordinary to be found within “Losing Game” from any different standpoint that comes to mind. The powerfully arranged strings and piano amplify all of the emotive lyrics Kanisha serenades us with. The master mix blankets us in sonic textures that practically reach through our stereo speakers and embrace us with open arms. Even the muted percussive track is a game-changer here; it’s quietly drifting in the shadow of the string play, and without warning, it’s beating its chest like a war drum in the chorus. There’s a rock n’ roll grind to the tempo that really catches fire halfway through the song, and it’s punctuated with a pastoral twang in the guitar parts that gives it a slightly countrified finish that I wasn’t expecting to hear, but enjoyed all the same. With so many layers to be peeled back in order to properly appreciate the grandeur of this single, it’s no wonder why critics beyond even my own circles have been raving about what Kanisha K has been accomplishing in the studio. She’s got a talent that is quite rare to put it mildly, and she’s exploiting it awesomely here.
Every detail that comprises the whole of “Losing Game” really sparkles even when played at a lower volume, and if that isn’t enough to keep pop aficionados happy this spring, I don’t know what possibly could be. You couldn’t ask for a more compellingly produced slice of melodies passionately strewn together, and for my money, it’s a mammoth upgrade from almost anything that you’ll hear coming off of a major label roster at the moment. We’re living in a special time in the history of pop music; explicitly, we’re on the cusp of a lot of massive aesthetical changes within the genre that are transpiring before our very eyes and ears ahead of 2020, and it’s artists like Kanisha K who are at the very forefront of the revolution. Her strain of soft-rocking pop is a force to be reckoned with, and on the back of singles like “Losing Game,” it has the potential to take over the world as we know it.