Not to be melodramatic but it feels like we’ve been waiting forever for Tkay. In reality, it’s been two and a half years since the Australian singer/MC first caught our attention with her thrillingly-diverse Switch Tape EP, but the point stands: people are excited to see if the twenty-year-old can capitalise on her early promise.
The initial omens were extremely positive. Killer Mike-starring lead single ‘Carry On’ finds Maidza baiting haters over cacophonous beats and the blare of air-raid sirens, her crisp rapping in the verses contrasting with a bratty, Charli XCX-style jump-rope chant in the chorus. Likewise, the propulsive, minimalist ‘Tennies’ posits Maidza as the missing link between Missy Elliott and Arular-era M.I.A.
Completing the trio of teaser tracks, the insanely infectious ‘Simulation’ is proof that there’s plenty of mileage left in dancehall-influenced electro-pop. Impressively, they’re not even the best songs on the album. That accolade goes to the hyperactive ‘Always Been’ – which blends Baile funk influences with jackhammer beats – and bass-heavy sadbanger ‘Afterglow’. In fact, for a blissful, nine-track run it’s difficult to find fault, but once you hit the twitchy two-step of ‘State Of Mind’ your attention begins to wander, and there are still four songs left. With more ruthless editing Maidza’s debut might have been great; as it is, Tkay is a strong foundation on which to build upon.
Buy: Tkay Maidza – Tkay