Gen Z talent links together huge opposing forces, creating her own potent brand of rebel-pop.” – Clash
In little over a year, London based vocalist and visual artist Willow Kayne has enjoyed a prodigious ascent to the pinnacle of pop music’s more daring corners. Her postmodern approach to songwriting was rewarded in 2021 with Willow receiving the Ivor Novello Rising Star award, setting her on a path to achieve greatness early in her career. Her riotously received debut EP Playground Antics was the catalyst for an explosion of rave reviews, while with live shows and online previews, she has shared a glimpse of the soundtrack to her ever-expanding sonic world. With recent singles “Final Notice” and “White City,” Willow shared more propulsive and surreal facets of her arsenal, while with the release of new track “Rat Race” today, Willow delves deep into introspection in her own unique way.
Opening to jagged yet muted guitar tones, Willow questions her own path towards her goals – using a slack yet melodic flow to express her distaste with how uncertain her path is. Her lyricism is refreshingly appropriate for today’s current landscape, with lyrics such as “I’m only seeing successes, the others don’t reach For You page’, referencing the industry’s obsession with social media as a means of staying relevant. “Rat Race’s” chorus acts as a sonic unburdening of the mental constraints that are binding Willow, with a balmy, uplifting instrumental line that soothes the bite of the track’s previous spiked-edged momentum. Willow’s vocal elevates; fully opening up and surrendering to the ridiculousness of the industry she finds herself in and contemporary adult life.
On the track, Willow says: “I wrote ‘Rat Race’ when I was going through a little crisis; the music business sometimes makes me feel like I am a lottery ticket among millions of others. To sum it up briefly, it’s about the moment when you ask yourself “Am I doing this right? Or better yet, what AM I doing?”
Nice little existential crisis this one.”
An ode to the confidence in her own abilities, but lack of trust in the process to strive for access to her dreams, Willow Kayne’s “Rat Race” is an internal look into the anxieties of one of 2022’s most expansive pop talents. An artist who has encapsulated a no holds barred attitude to her own conviction since the outset of her career, “Rat Race” is a refreshing change of pace from Willow, who lays all her doubts on the line – still with a sense of buoyant determination and relatability at all times.
Willow Kayne will also headline a very special multi-sensory show at London’s XOYO on September 29, 2022, following her sold out dual headline dates earlier in the year, as well as triumphant set at this year’s Glastonbury Festival and London’s All Points East festival with stylistic idols Gorillaz. Tickets on sale now HERE.
“Rat Race” official artwork: