Kim Petras is back at it again, delivering an eight track mixtape: “Turn off The Light Vol. 1.” It’s just in time for October’s spooky celebrations to really gear up.
The German pop star, who reached international acclaim last spring with her singles “Heart to Break” and “I Don’t Want It At All” had already proven that she wasn’t too shy to revel in the unapologetically self-absorbed world of bubblegum pop.
In the music video for “I Don’t Want It At All,” Petras portrayed a spoiled character, demanding luxury gifts from her various suitors. Petras satirizes materialism by praying to a shrine dedicated to Paris Hilton.
This blatant idolization of celebrity and fame seemed to be a rather “tongue-in-cheek” way of acknowledging the empty clout-seeking side of pop culture while still having upbeat good natured fun.
In “Turn Off The Light Vol. 1” Petras continues her pop journey but diverts from the mainstream pop scene to try out a more campy style. The EP starts off with the track “o m e n” an electronic instrumental that sounds like something off of a gothic video game.
The second track, “Close Your Eyes,” prominently showcases layers of electronic organ with heavily auto-tuned vocals by Petras, and the combination can only be described as a Halloween party robot.
“I feel it coming on, You’ve got nowhere to run, There’s no way you’ll make it out alive, Oh, when it’s after dark, I’m gonna eat your heart, Don’t try to fight it, just close your eyes,” sings Pertras in the chorus.
On the third track titled “TRANSylvania,” Petras again showcases her self-aware sense of humor. Petras, who is transgender, is also an outspoken advocate for transgender and LGBT issues.
Later on the EP, Petras pays homage to gay icon Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, who’s featured on the title track “Turn Off The Light,” a song that showcases prominent use of electronic synthesizers and an over the top monologue from Elvira.
“Only in the darkness will you find your true self, Howl at the moon to awaken the spell. One cannot judge what the eye cannot see, outside the realm of humanity,” says Elvira in her cameo.
Throughout the EP, there is heavy inspiration from the EDM genre. The sound of the album can perhaps best be described as some type of experimental, dark dance-pop. Many fans and critics were surprised by tracks like “i don’t wanna die…” which contains almost no vocals and is almost entirely instrumental, but so far “Turn off The Light Vol. 1” has largely been met by positive reception.
An internet-chosen favorite from the mixtape would definitely be “In The Next Life” in which Petras sings in both English and German. This is perhaps part of the reason for the song’s wide appeal.
“I’m the greatest, God created, I’m a sickness, I’m contagious, I’m a demon, power trippin, On the mission, and vindictive,” sings Petras in the first verse.
The song is a mashup of a slower, melancholy chorus that slips in between the electronic pulse of the first and second verse. Just listening to the track, it is easy to tell that Petras had dark dance clubs and nightlife in mind when putting together the song.
“Turn Off The Light Vol. 1” marks a new chapter in the career of Kim Petras. With this mixtape, Petras branches out from her pop roots and transcends into a genre that cannot entirely be defined. The EP is spooky, quirky and campy to the point of almost being outlandish, but it’s overall fun and lighthearted. With this mixtape being just the first volume of “Turn Off The Light,” one thing for certain is that Petras is not afraid to make full use of her artistic license. It will be interesting to see what she creates next.
You can stream “Turn Off The Light Vol.1” for free on Spotify or from Petra’s YouTube channel: Kim Petras.