Everything about this track, from the distinctly provocative cover art to the lucid vocals, oozes of an unavoidable allure. ‘If It Makes You Feel Better’ (‘Better’) is the debut single from London based duo KIRA, flying at the edge of the envelope in this emotive track that tells the story of the fine line between genuine human connection and relationships that only look good on paper.
‘Better’ is uplifting from the get-go, opening with an isolated electronic guitar that flows smoothly into chilling vocals. The single is built over a peddle point guitar motif, a choice that succinctly links the track together, creating an intentionally monotonous instrumental feel which emphasizes the extraordinarily unique voice of singer, Katie. Her voice is laced with emotion and has a hauntingly beautiful quality, epitomised in her falsetto chorus, the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Lorde first emerged in 2013. The drums in the second verse are reminiscent of Phil Collins, a reference which fits with the genre of the track which is a masterful bridge between alt pop and 80s pop.
The duo has already come from a great deal of musical experience (Katie is a former member of RITUAL and Will from Crystal Bats), which is evident in the polished, streamlined sound, as well as in the expert production which enhances the crystal clear vocal work and rolling melodies. ‘Better’ is powerful in its simplicity, boasting understated synths that draw it away from sounding too radio-pop, yet capitalises on splashes of 80s shoegaze rock in the dreamy harmonies.
The cover art – featuring a lily suggestively placed between red suspender-clad open legs – is a tell-tale sign KIRA is targeting the new generation of boundary-pushing individuals who don’t believe in the term ‘inappropriate.’ It definitely gives us a flavour of what is to follow, which is a stand out summertime single that not only feels just right drifting towards you across Kew Gardens but equally works crawling up rain washed windows on a winter weekend.