KennyHoopla – how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?// – EP Review
We’re still stuck at home and lost in our thoughts. So, most of us are travelling back in time and if it’s a positive memory, we get that wonderful hit of nostalgia.
KennyHoopla’s brand new EP how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?// explores the bitter sweetness of nostalgia in both his musicality and his songwriting.
As opening tracks go, ‘thinkingoutloud//’ just sets the scene beautifully. The build-up of the euphoric, brooding piano gears you up for a hard-hitting breakdown, reminiscent of early Enter Shikari. The whole track just feels huge with so much space to get lost in KennyHoopla’s emotional, yet powerful vocal performance.
We really get moving with ‘how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?//’ the first track released from the EP back in March. The guitar hook is instantly accessible, harking back to those wonderful early 2000 indie days with tight jeans and awful hair. You can really hear the nostalgia dripping from every note and all you want to do is move when you hear it. Imagine Post Malone joining Bloc Party back in 2005, and you end up with ‘how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?//’.
We’re able to catch our breath for a minute with ‘plastic door//’. The production is stripped back, and we feel more connected with KennyHoopla; there’s no escaping the emotion that’s being conveyed in his voice and is probably my favourite vocal performance of the entire EP. There’s no forgetting the guitar in ‘plastic door//’. Damn, that guitar hook, what more can I say?! It’s just beautifully simple.
Hold on to your hats, kids. You’re about to come up again with ‘dust//’ which is a sucker punch, to put it frankly. You’re in a bit of a daze after ‘plastic door//’, potentially now in a false sense of security. But as soon as that bass kick comes out of nowhere, you’re done for. It adds unstable raw energy to the whole track and just adds to KennyHoopla’s deeply emotional performance. It’s pure vulnerability. It was actually unsettling when it first came in and legitimately raised my heart rate. Lyrically, ‘dust//’ is deep. It explores places where some of us have been but don’t really want to go back to; feelings of misplaced intimacy and just a sense of loss and confusion in general.
The last 2 tracks of the EP left me feeling a little empty. This journey through painful nostalgia had these euphoric highs and despairing lows, but ‘sore loser//’ and ‘the world is flat and this is the edge//’ felt like we’ve ended up taking a totally different direction to where we started and not one that was promised. I was enjoying the indie throwback, those cool guitar hooks but ‘sore loser//’ and ‘the world is flat and this is the edge//’ feel overproduced in comparison. They feel out of place on this EP and don’t do the rest of the tracks justice.
KennyHoopla excites me. He’s a genre-bending wizard who doesn’t fit anywhere but is everything right about music. He’s fearlessly unique.
how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?// awakens me. It floored me right from the off and is a fun listen from start to finish. This whole EP is exactly what the world needs right now. We have not heard the last of this man. Whatever comes next, it will shine just as bright as these 6 tracks have.
words by Sean Mackey
Check out KennyHoopla’s EP how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?// below!