The line between pop and R&B has always been a bit vague, full of blurry boundaries and intangible labels. But for the artists who can maneuver in this musical mash of sounds, the rewards are often miraculous; just look at the work of Chattanooga musician Kindora. She fuses euphoric pop sensibilities with dance floor-ready grooves that shake and wander across a landscape of mutated rhythms. Her music manages to pull from various influences without sacrificing the validity of any given source, allowing her to shade her work with a dozen musical hues. And over the past few years, she’s amassed a considerable wealth of singles and a particularly remarkable record in which she’s highlighted her specific talents in molding these shivering sounds.
On her latest single, “Mess,” she’s once again paired up with rapper-producer Rock Floyd to create a stylized pop-R&B hybrid that stalks along the periphery of each genre without laying allegiance to either. Kindora and Rock have a sustained history of collaboration, and you can hear the ease and comfort that they have with each other in every second of this track. The music flows freely, with no obstruction, a torrent of muted beats and electronic flourishes. She also has a knack for wringing deep emotion from any melody that she holds in her hands, a result of her understanding of the foundations that support the sounds with which she works.
Opening with some wavering orchestral rhythms before shifting into an electro pop atmosphere, the song presents a brash, dramatic musical perspective, one that favors an expansive view of inspiration and production. Clinging to the idea that music isn’t bound by assumptions about certain melodic approaches, Kindora builds “Mess” into a glorious bridge between the slick pop of decades past and a more modern point of view. She still surrounds herself with a vibrant environment, composed of the same noises that she’s been breaking apart since she began making music, but there’s a glint of darkness that gives the song an intense emotional reflection and the ability to dig down into our subconscious and start poking around. It’s what she does best.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.