Kerli dropped a free track as a holiday surprise for fans on Thursday. ‘Spirit Animal’ sees Kerli experimenting sonically, and it’s not surprising that the song is a free giveaway. The song starts off on a high note: the pulsing beat and pounding bass permeate the track, making it quite the danceworthy affair you’d come to expect from the Bubblegoth Princess.
Sadly, a discord begins with the vocals; Kerli sounds — dare I say it — whiny and strained, a stark departure from the soothing sounds of ‘Feral Hearts‘. Even on ‘Diamond Hard‘, a much more brooding track, Kerli sounds more refined and in control vocally. Vocal irritants are mostly reserved for the verses, (“We’re twin flames lighting up the SKYYYYYYY” she whines, then repeating “twin flames lighting up the sky” in her normal singing voice. Sad face.)
Lyrically, the chorus has some lovely traditional Kerli lines, highlighting spirituality and mythical creatures, and it also sounds more like Kerli than the verses.
Was there a reason Kerli chose such an unusual vocal style for her verses on ‘Spirit Animal’? I’d say it’s likely — Kerli does nothing without purpose. Still, ‘Spirit Animal’ is not up to Kerli’s usual standards, and it seems like she has quite an array of tracks to weed through while she works on finalizing her first independent album.