July 11, 2017

EP: Kilo Tango - Boy Problems

Kilo Tango coaxes out your inner nostalgic teen.

Boy Problems is 12 minutes of chewed-up bubblegum memories of your favorite high school crush, who was probably in a band, and probably played the drums. Kilo Tango is the Jane to your Daria, that stylishly cynical best friend that always has your back and who’s way cooler than your actual older sister. A Florida native now residing in Los Angeles, it’s no wonder lead singer Katie Mitchell has truly mastered the sandy, glimmering garage pop sound so fitting for both seaside landscapes. It’s a sound that’s comforting and nostalgic for me as well as one that instantaneously makes me want to get up, dance and mosh. The sound of every instrument is calibrated to elicit these feelings, whether it be the piercing plucking of lead guitar, a distorted melody behind it, the laid-back thump of bass, or the rolling beat of the drums. 

"Boys and Drugs" opens Boy Problems with a slow bass line and building drums. The lyrics are short and to a point, and clever in that way: “I fell in love with a boy and drugs / Well he didn’t care / Took the flowers from my hair.” Kilo Tango avoids the usual metaphor about love being the drug, and instead sets them up as equals. The song is a long, semi-sarcastic sigh, but doesn't lack in sweetness. "Psychedelic Heart," a later song on the EP, is a rebellion against that special kind of insanity that one only feels when crushing. Mitchell sings: “Don’t you get in my head / No more / Psychedelic boys / I’m not a chore.” The boys are a hallucination, and she just wants the trip to end. 

Love comes up short throughout this EP, and Mitchell isn’t afraid to say it. I couldn’t have been happier to go farther back into KT’s bandcamp and find a Mazzy Star cover. You can find that same Hope Sandoval dreaminess seep through Mitchell’s voice, hear it drift through the rollicking guitar. I’ve read her reference Best Coast as a big influence, and that undoubtedly comes through on this EP. There’s an all-year-round summer attitude in the music and that playful longing that can’t help but go along with it, one for the sun and one for an unrequited love. It's a postcard from your teenage self, the one that still lives very much inside you no matter how hard you try to grow up. We all try to resist succumbing to this self - we try to outgrow crushes, put those torn up old Doc Martens in the back of the closet, throw out once coveted diaries. Boy Problems urges us to let go, to stop trying to fool ourselves. I’ll always be a sixteen-yearold somewhere in here, no matter how hard I try to escape it, so I might as well embrace it. But this time, perhaps, at least I’ll be a more badass version of my former self, with lines like this to use on ex-lovers: “You had my heart in the palm of your hand / You stuck it down deep in the sand / Don’t you bring me roses / In the middle of the night.” 


Listen to Kilo Tango on bandcamp.

Drew Lucia loves the movie Shrek and is scared of dying. She makes videos and paintings and uses Shazam excessively. You can find her on twitter at @mountaindru_ and some of her stuff at http://cargocollective.com/drewlucia.