Kanisha K. releases “Losing Game”
A somber silence is broken apart by the delicate decadence of a piano, its keys echoing into the ethers and extending a warmth that was absent only seconds prior. There’s a light humming starting to enter the frame beside them, but it’s only a hint of the melody that singer Kanisha K is about to conjure up in her brand new single “Losing Game,” a track she co-wrote with Jane Bach. A faded violin moans in the distance as she starts to sing, its melancholic tone seasoning these first words with a sadness that is almost impossible for us to escape. Kanisha chips away at its sterling construction with her smoky, natural timbre; in the wake of her opening prose, an airy guitar lick penetrates the mix and encourages us to trust our lead singer as we press forward through the darkness.
The thick, ominous bassline that surrounds all of the mild melodies evolving out of black and white grooves is no match for the verses when they start picking up steam just before hitting the chorus. Kanisha K is getting too furious in her attack to be stopped at this point; her enigmatic poetry is starting to take shape and rattle us at our core, her command of the instrumentation is starting to look like that of a conductor leading a symphony, and as the chorus slips through the cracks and drowns us in its optimism, her voice remains the strongest harmony in all of the sonic chaos. It’s as if she is singing directly to us, and only us, in an insular club that has been acoustically-stylized for her palate alone.
On the surface, the chorus in “Losing Game” is one of the more streamlined parts of the whole song, but upon closer inspection, it’s actually the track’s most versatile point of emphasis. There’s a splash of country here that sweeps us off our feet and takes us to a bucolic, calm plain of thought while the band throttles us with vicious rock n’ roll rhythm, and even in its most experimental moments, none of the song’s substance ever becomes fragmented or confusing. Kanisha K has never got the respect that she deserves for going out on a limb and experimenting with her musical depth as much as she does, but that is likely going to change as this track finds consistent airplay on both sides of the dial this spring.
In a tizzy of bluesy guitar leads and crashing cymbals, Kanisha K pummels us with one last thrust of the chorus as “Losing Game” reaches a smoldering conclusion, and even if you don’t usually go for this muscular variety of pop music, getting the song’s signature hook out of your head after even the most cursory of listens is no easy feat to accomplish. “Losing Game” is an addictive, swanky slab of pop/rock suited to a discriminating generation of fans both in the States and abroad, and it’s a testament to how far Kanisha has come since first making her debut some years ago. Hardcore pop consumers won’t want to miss it, nor will anyone who enjoys rock-solid melodies in general.
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