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Arca Releases Four New Albums 'Kick ii,' 'iii,' 'iiii' & 'iiiii'

Arca completes the 'Kick' album series with FOUR new LPs today.
Arca Center: KiCk i. Top left: KICK ii. Top right: KicK iii. Bottom left: kick iiii. Bottom right: kiCK iiiii

Arca Center: KiCk i. Top left: KICK ii. Top right: KicK iii. Bottom left: kick iiii. Bottom right: kiCK iiiii

Arca has released not one, not two, not three but whole whole albums today. Technically the first three were released in over the week, but now they can all be found together in a massive music mountain. Arca has completed her kick series not in a slow drip as one might expect, but in a torrent like a damn has burst and the water is ready to overrun you. She originally announced the second and then the third and fourth shortly thereafter, while the fifth comes as a surprise addition to the whole series. Arca released the Grammy nominated KiCk i in June 2020 and now adds another 47 songs and two and a half hours of music to that.

Over the past decade, Arca has built a discography that started quite experimental and electronic and has shifted slowly towards a maximalist pop sound that still remains cutting edge, while also adding reggaeton to the mix. It will be tough to get through all four of these albums in one sitting today, but it is absolutely worth making your way through all of this music.

KICK ii starts out with some thumping reggaeton, but then gets weird. The songs start to get scattering, contorted and eerie with vocals flying around with heavy distortion on them. Things shift slightly with the collab alongside Sia “Born Yesterday” that settles into soaring pop, but still capturing the strangeness of the rest of this album.

KicK iii doesn’t diverge too much, but is the most “incendiary” of the universe. Describing it as ”manic, violently euphoric and aggressively psychedelic,” Arca is in your face with an aggressive pop sound that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the very end with flowing harp on “Joya.” She brings together percussion that sounds like it is coming at you with the ferocity of a shooting range, mixing together with heavy electronics and noise whirring around.

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kick iiii stretches from the two previous albums, morphing into more alien-like structures with grungy guitars and heavy electronics. “It is a healing spell, recognition of the alien inside, a bursting apart of old skin, fresh new sinew rippling outward from a beating core, the first prenatal kick,” describes Arca. It can be calming and then switch quickly to intense, brooding and dark songs.

The final surprise is kiCK iiiii that allows the listener a moment of peace at the end of this lengthy journey. The only listed collab is with noted Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, which helps set the tone. It is blissful and a deep exhale after the lengthy and delirious journey to this point.

Enjoy Arca fans because you are eating good today, this week, the rest of the year and beyond. There are five albums in the Kick series, with four of them arriving either today or this week. Arca embraces the chaos, spanning brash experimental pop melodies, harsh percussion and effects, thumping reggaeton and eventually soothing, almost ambient textures towards the end. There is a bit for every Arca fan with the albums stitched together with care. Get KICK ii here, KicK iii here, kick iiii here and kiCK iiiii here all via XL Recordings.

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