All great things take time, and KUČKA's debut album, Wrestling, is no different.
First announced nearly two years ago, Wrestling sees years of the Australian artist's work come together in an intimate, 12-track arrangement of spellbinding soundscapes and masterful lyricism. Released April 30th via LuckyMe, the project also follows KUČKA's three-year hiatus from solo work, which concluded in 2019 with the release of Wrestling's lead single, the Flume-assisted "Drowning."
Built around haunting vocals and quirky, bouncy chords, KUČKA kicks the door down with Wrestling and ushers us into her world. Her lyrics are raw and blissfully simple, telling a tale of love and acceptance as old as time. Still, her unique twist lies in her ear for sonic textures, culminating in complex arrangements of new sounds that invite intrigue and wonder.
Wrestling also takes its lack of genre identity in stride, as KUČKA embraces a myriad of influences including indieelectronica, dream pop and hip-hop to pursue a sound that stands on its own.
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"Wrestling is a deeply personal album and releasing it feels like I'm passing around my diary for everyone to read — liberating and vulnerable at the same time," KUČKA wrote on social media. "My hope is that as people immerse themselves in the world, they connect not only to the music and lyrics, but also themselves."
In addition to her own production work, KUČKA also enlisted several producers to lend their talents to her songs. Vegyn, known for his work on Frank Ocean's Blonde and Channel Orange, infused hip-hop flavors to "Contemplation" with loops of trap drums and eerie synths. Meanwhile, renowned electronic producer Nosaj Thing leant his talents to the glistening, introspective "Real" while Exmoor Emperor contributed to the euphoric, synthwave-inspired "Sky Brown."
KUČKA has also released a series of music videos coinciding with four of the tracks off Wrestling, including "Real." "I want to encourage people to lose themselves in their ideas, to really go deep, no matter how weird or unusual they think they are, and see how it affects their physical body and gives way to even more potent thoughts," she commented in the video's caption.
To celebrate the release of Wrestling, KUČKA will be hosting a live set on TikTok and Twitch for IsolAid Festival, with 100% of donations raised during the stream going directly to its performers. You can catch her live on Sunday, May 2nd at 5PM AEST or 12AM PT (3PM ET).