Exposé Online banner

I Am K — Humans
(Apollon Records AP037, 2018, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-11

Humans Cover art

It seems that this band released a few individual tracks back in 2015 under the name Kelvin — “Lights Are Low,” “Give It All,” and “Strobelights” — but when it came time for a full-length album, they changed the name to I Am K. Certainly there are a number of other artists recording as Kelvin, so they probably wanted to distinguish themselves, as well as avoiding both confusion and legal action. In any case, some of the Kelvin videos are on Youtube as I Am K, and Apollon has put out the album, called Humans. It would be futile to try to argue that their music isn’t pop, though it’s a much more original and intriguing take on pop music than the vast majority of artists I’ve heard on the American charts. The most prominent feature is Oda Ulvøy’s lovely voice, which has a distinctive quality that’s quite engaging. She is not a belter, though she has good range, and is strong enough to carry the climaxes of these songs. The music ranges from quiet passages with subtle electronics and breathy singing to more energetic passages with electric guitars and full drum kit. There’s a lot of creativity in the arrangements, with delicate keyboard parts and nicely contrasting guitars. The melodies are great, with a real sense of drama and development, and standard structures are not always adhered to. The production is beautiful, with both clarity and depth, avoiding the tendency of so many bands to overdo the reverb. “Moving In,” “Stars,” and “I Come Alive” are particularly effective, a great antidote to dreary news and assembly-line pop music, uplifting and melodic without being sappy, with enough of a rock edge to avoid shallow prettiness. Listeners in search of good pop outside the confines of big-name producers and established acts would do well to check out this band.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): I Am K

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Johnson and Jud Martindale - Creatures of Habit – For those interested with tracking down the roots of master acoustic fret bender, Richard Leo Johnson, look no further! Uncovered from the independent release catacombs is a 1993 gem from Johnson and...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues