A stylish, swaggering collection of songs that explore personal growth, morality and what it means to disconnect from, or reconnect with the world around you, Tel-Aviv producer & pop renegade Noga Erez has shared her second album KIDS. Released via City Slang, Erez has worked closely alongside her collaborative & life partner Ori Rousso to create this razor sharp, intensely catchy record that proves she’s got the musical mileage she sings of.
Since the release of her acclaimed debut album Off The Radar in 2017, Erez & Rousso have been busy working on the songs that form the tracklist for KIDS. “These are songs about what we inherit from past generations, how we pass things on,” Erez explains. “KIDS talks about humanity’s potential for both beauty and destruction.” Through her witty lyrics, slick production and commanding beats, Erez blazes a unique trail through these binary opposites, acknowledging the darkness along with the light.
Opening the record with a sample of her Mother’s voice exhaling “Kids these days,” Erez hits the ground running with the triumphant sounding ‘CIPI’. Despite admitting to feeling depressed and pessimistic throughout the track, the joy of the lyric “You think you are the boss of me / when most the time, you’re my bitch” centres Erez as the ringmaster of this provocative, intuitive showcase of sound. On ‘VIEWS’, Erez & Rousso stylishly explore the absurdity of paying for exposure on social media. Collaborating with LA-based hip-hop artist Reo Cragun, her clear vocals glide over slick beats and pop hooks to create an infectiously powerful anti-fakeness anthem.
When we interviewed Erez back in 2019, she spoke of dealing with an “inner violence” and how her art helps her deal with her own internal conflicts. These sentiments resonate deeply after listening to ‘You So Done’. It’s a resilient, emotionally charged offering that delves into her memories of a toxic relationship that she started having un-nerving flashbacks about. “What a joke, what a joke you made me / What’s a Queen to a Joker, tell me?” Erez taunts over spacious beats and warped electronics. She has transformed this inner violence into a powerful lament that radiates with artistic confidence – exposing the chinks in her emotional armour with a poignant, polished flair.
On the infectiously upbeat ‘End of the Road’, Erez explores the thrill of the unknown via her commanding beats and slick rap verses, casually shrugging off the tight grip of human mortality. Following track ‘Bark Loud’ sees this “underdog” pack a serious rap punch with her effortless flow, whilst the trippy, jazz infused beats on eponymous track ‘KIDS’ featuring San Francisco MC BLIMES are intoxicating. Erez & Rousso’s spirited duet ‘Story’ explores the way our personal history can affect our behaviour towards those we love. The pair take life’s challenges on the chin together (quite literally in the accompanying video) and shine a spotlight on the grit and the joy that’s needed to maintain a close relationship.
The free-flowing ‘Knockout’ smoulders with Erez’s formidable charisma, and contrasts beautifully with the buoyant ‘NO news on TV’. “I don’t wanna look at my phone anymore” she muses in the track’s opening line, fatigued by the constant flow of bad news. But rather than encouraging listeners to switch off from the world, Erez highlights that this apathy is an unhealthy privilege, and one that many communities do not have. The fierce sounding, politically charged ‘Fire Kites’ melts into the brooding, deceptively sweet ‘Candyman’, before the record closes with the soft sounding, aptly named ‘Switch Me Off’.
A truly impressive record that spotlights her talent as a producer, vocalist, MC and performer; Noga Erez’s new album KIDS pulses with an authentic, unique energy. Erez & her partner Rousso have created an uncompromising musical force that ignites the ear drums, and transforms the personal and political into a formidable piece of art.