Few artists feel as necessary as KennyHoopla. The Wisconsin-bred genre shapeshifter captures a growing feeling of general uncertainty through an enthralling lens of mid '00s rock and '80s new wave. Yet, this is no mere appeal to borrowed nostalgia. In his debut EP, how will i rest in peace if i'm buried by a highway?//, KennyHoopla reinvigorates new wave for a new generation with its own set of concern and worries.
"thinkingoutloud" kicks off the EP in unexpected fashion. Ethereal glimmers of production flutter by, soon joined by sonic snapshots of far-off conversations. It's the sort of atmospheric, electronic-driven introduction you would expect from the likes of Porter Robinson, not an artist who has staked his claim on euphoric, guitar and synth-driven flights of catharsis. And yet, it soon unfurls as the perfect breeding ground for KennyHoopla's pained reflection.
Much of how will i rest in peace if i'm buried by a highway?// sees KennyHoopla grappling with similar feelings and themes of uncertainty, inadequacy, and a general search for answers, or at the very least those who have them. As he previously shared with CLASH, "this EP is an introduction to the world of KennyHoopla, sonically and metaphorically. I'd say it's really a couple of loose memories being processed for the first time into a playlist."
While there is an unshakeable malaise to how will i rest in peace if i'm buried by a highway?//'s six-track run, at no point does it ever being to feel one-note. Rather, Kennyhoopla's debut EP could be called wildly radical. From the adrenaline shot to the heart that is its titular track to the minimalistic tale of mortality and dissociation that is "dust//," no two tracks sound quite the same. He experiments relentlessly, pushing him and his sound forward with an infectious abandon.
In how will i rest in peace if i'm buried by a highway?//, KennyHoopla evokes its fair share of nostalgia, from traces of early Bloc Party to the lingering despair of Joy Division, yet as the EP reaches its ultimate conclusion, what is left in its wake is not a carbon copy of anything we have heard before. There is only one KennyHoopla.
Listen to how will i rest in peace if i'm buried by a highway?// below: