Kemme – ‘Cyclorama’ 

Kemme is a young singer songwriter, who’s never played by anybody’s rules except her own. This much is evident from her music videos, on which she takes a singular, and very personal approach. Her new single, ‘Cyclorama’, is in reality a seamless bend of the primary sections of three very different songs in her upcoming visual EP. Yes. You read that correctly. Her EP is visual. Like I said…

Directed by Danica Kleinknecht, the video takes the sequence and matches it to a continuous story that’s been composed by Kemme herself. Over five and a half minutes we’re taken over a massive amount of ground, both musically and thematically, all in all demonstrating just how much imagination – and how brave – this young artist is.

‘Cyclorama’ feels like a movie trailer as much as anything, and much more than just a run of the mill music video. Kemme of course is anything but run of the mill, with her music just as akin to the soundtracks on experimental films as it is to anything in the top forty. ‘Cyclorama’ uses excerpts from ‘Poof’, ‘Too Deep’, and ‘Kiss The Girls’, and her music is sultry and provocative, drawing from dream-pop, experimental electronica, R&B, and weird folk – among other genres.

‘Cyclorama’ visually references the work of the likes of Tex Avery, Quentin Tarantino, Jan Svankmajer, Ralph Bakshi, and others, and the songs themselves are written like a film score.

Did we happen to mention she’s Tom Petty’s niece? Well we have now, and while it would be all too easy to compare the two, Kemme is very much her own person, with ‘Cyclorama’ an enticing blend of moody and engrossing live action footage (gorgeous at that), and vibrant animation; the latter representing the often limiting roles of female tropes, from the femme fatale, in ‘Poof’, the doting partner who cares only for her man (‘Too Deep’), and a scorned lover, in ‘Kiss The Girls’. There’s a certain destabilisation to the video, as we see Kemme and her friends chasing a cartoon wolf along an abandoned road at night: he’s wild and dangerous and out of place, and in Kemme’s narrative he’s the victim. She’s wholly in control of his destiny.

The end of the story circles back to the start, and it could easily be presumed that the cycle continues infinitely, with no permanent resolution. But the video can be stopped at any point, and rather than an endless loop of love and loss for the female character, we can allow her to have her happy ever after.

Check out more about Kemme and her music online on her official website. Watch the video for ‘Cyclorama’ below and let us know what you think in the comments.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

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