Squidgenini finds liberation in intimacy with stellar debut ‘SQUID’
Meanjin/Brisbane producer and artist Squidgenini has finally unleashed her debut record, aptly titled SQUID. Released via tastemaker legends Beats of No Nation, this debut release confirms Squidgenini as a multi-faceted, ambitious and evolved artist, and shows exactly why we named her as an artist to watch this year.
The insatiable groove which kicks into gear just as the EP begins in ‘All Made Up’ underpins the entire release as Squidgenini liberates herself again and again in each song. Unrestricted by genre conventions, she firmly cements her presence on her own terms. ‘All Made Up’, with some exemplary vocal work courtesy of our protagonist, as well as exposing lyrics, raw vulnerability and a funk-driven beat to carry her message along sets the scene, with ‘TMO’ following suit. Deeply spiritual and ethereal, that same groove continues into the otherworldly second single before Squidgenini shows off her slick sound design and production chops with a glitchy, unpredictable and sublime dreamscape. It’s unconventional to say the least, but so enjoyable to listen to, and as she takes you by the hand down the rabbit hole, you can’t help but dive in head first.
‘Circle;Line’ again employs some seriously impressive production, showing the years between releases have truly been well spent. Squidgenini rises to the occasion, deepening her connection with the listener in each song, and as ‘Circle;Line’ begins to unfurl with its percussive-led march and swelling atmospherics, it is another invite into the unknown. The intimacy is amped up, sounding almost confessional as she sings and questions, before the utterly divine ‘Into My Heart’ takes its place. The frustration of ‘Circle;Line’ is replaced with an incantation and manifestation, with Squidgenini coming full circle (pun not intended) and openly embracing her own love. There’s moments of UK garage interspersed throughout sparse keys, intricate percussion lines and that same chugging groove, and they all combine to make for an irresistible foundation as Squid’s connection to spirit rings out.
Finishing up with ‘Trust’, there is no denying SQUID is an excellent debut release indeed. It echoes that same intimacy, vulnerability and groove Squid has carried throughout, showcasing her vocal range and honesty more than ever. It’s almost disarming how intimate the song begins, after the slick, luscious production of its predecessors. But, its in this that makes ‘Trust’ one of Squidgenini’s finest songs yet: tapping into that power in vulnerability, she sounds her most assured and in control with nowhere to hide and baring it all.
Described as a “resounding declaration of sovereignty and surrender”, Squidgenini hits her stride in exactly this: surrendering completely and unearthing the power that comes from that. Bending genres into ways you’ve not heard quite like this before, Squidgenini is the queen of her domain. She has always been one to watch, cautious in her moves as she eagerly develops her skills, and with the release ‘SQUID’, she arrives fully formed and ready.
‘SQUID’ is out now via Beats of No Nation. Buy here.
Squidgenini is launching her new EP this Saturday in Meanjin/Brisbane.
June 12th, The Brightside
With support from;
David Versace (Live)
Jad & The
Words by EMMA JONES
Image by Daniel Rafet Grima