Tag: Single Review: Arthur Kay Higher Ground

Oslo, Norway-based singer/songwriter, composer and keyboardist Arthur Kay has been a prominent member of his hometown’s music scene for the better part of a decade, as the frontman of the galactic jazz act Dr. Kay and His Interstellar Tone Scientists and collaborating and touring with Norwegian rapper Ivan Ave.

Kay’s self-titled, solo debut is slated for an October 11, 2019 and the EP’s material, which draws from several disparate influences and channels Thundercat, James Blake, and Sun Ra Arkestra also reportedly finds the Norwegian singer/songwriter, composer and keyboardist stepping further into the spotlight as a solo artist. Now, as you may recall, earlier this year, I wrote about “Holiday Pay,” a workers anthem and decidedly house music influenced track with glistening and twinkling synths, cowbell-led percussion and an infectious hook that manages to celebrate the fact that Norwegian employers are required by law to pay employees a certain percentage of the previous year’s wages to be used for the employee’s summer vacation time.

Interestingly, the EP’s latest single “Higher Ground” is a slow-burning track that’s one part dream pop, one part hallucinogenic dirge and one part shoegaze centered around a sparse arrangement of twinkling keys, atmospheric synths, Kay’s dreamy crooning and narcoleptic drumming — and while arguably the most peaceful song off the EP that’s been released so far, the song   possesses an underlying sweaty desperation. “Lyrically, it is about the silence and calmness that comes after a big emotional and chaotic event,” Arthur Kay says in press notes. “Those days or weeks where you feel that if you just put everything in your life on hold, to make it through the next hour without remembering or engaging in those memories, you’ll just barely make it through.”

“‘Higher Ground’ was sort of a tribute to Balearic House,” Kay adds. “It was one of the first times musically that I had something that was just for me. A lot of the work you do as a professional musician is taking small pieces of yourself and giving them away to other people’s dreams and visions.”