Review: "Bittersweet" - KOKO
"Bittersweet," the latest single from the UK trio KOKO, thumps heavily as they traverse conflicting emotions and the way they often sharpen each other's edges. The softer synths swirling in the background cut deeper in context with the track's more hedonistic qualities. Like reactive chemicals, the tangible desire and frustration they grapple with throughout the song explodes into a sum something more volatile than its parts. Effortlessly catchy and danceable, KOKO's dark electro-pop is showcased at its finest. At all times listening, you anticipate that the tides might turn: one emotion dominating. In the end, however, they are products of one another—inseparable.
The song starts off with a bit of false bravado. "Like a king I'll wear a crown / When I'm up no coming down," lead singer Oliver Garland croons before admitting "I'm not being honest." He doesn't deny the pleasure of the budding relationship at the song's core. This unflappable, upward trajectory he'd been convincing himself of, however, is merely an illusion wrought of the desire to find 'the one.' Like bitterness and sweetness, the ups and downs are often experienced together. "Sound of silence all the time / A losing ending but it's fine" continues their intentionally softened reactions—at least outwardly. Perhaps it's this desire to dilute the toxicity felt in this relationship that draws them to seek out more visceral comforts. "I haven't felt enough for this sugar rush." It's the need to convince ourselves that inevitably destroys.
KOKO is the project of UK-based trio: Oliver Garland, Harry Dobson, and Ashley C. They are preparing to release their second EP, "In Your House Music," this July. Their pop music shares a distinctly dark and electronic sound. Their song's are often moody and danceable, perfect soundtracks to parties. Written at the height of lockdown, the band's process for the new EP was uniquely different from typical. The frustration, anticipation, and restlessness can be felt in their tracks, making them into cathartic timestamps.
Written By Andy Mockbee