Emma Frizzell

Kali Uchis released her second EP, TO FEEL ALIVE on April 24, 2020.

Keziah Smith, Writer

Two years after the release of her last album, Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis finally blessed her fans with a new Extended Play (EP) specifically for quarantine, and it does not disappoint. Her most recent album, “Isolation,” was notably her most successful project with songs such as “After the Storm” and “Dead to Me” soon becoming fan favorites. In addition, Uchis has been featured on numerous songs by artists such as Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, and Daniel Caesar. With high anticipation for her next album, her fans were surprised when – unannounced – she dropped a four-song EP, “TO FEEL ALIVE”. Less than 24 hours after the release, the EP became number one for soul and R&B on iTunes. According to an Instagram post made by Uchis, she recorded the entire EP from home due to social distancing. The self-production is not only impressive considering the quality of the pieces, but it also gives the EP a simplistic yet pleasant feel.  


The EP is one of the most cohesive projects I have ever listened to, with all of the songs having the same smooth, almost glittery undertone; however, the differences are still evident. When listening, When listening, I separated them into pairs because they each had a different sound. The first pair in “TO FEEL ALIVE” is full of sweet and heavenly sounds, and switches to a more longing and yearning feeling for the second pair.


The EP starts with the first set of songs, “honey baby (SPOILED!)” and “angel.” Both songs are reworks of previously unreleased songs “Honey Baby” and “Pablo Escobar ” from her 2015 EP “Por Vida.” The songs share a similar soft beat with a vintage, neo-soul feel. “honey baby (SPOILED!)” starts off the EP, and from the first note, there is nothing but utter perfection. Uchis incorporates the sound of birds chirping, which gives the song a soothing effect. “angel” following right after gives off a similar vibe. It has a more pronounced beat with electric sounds in the background, giving it a vintage feel, similar to her song “Ridin’Around” from “Por Vida.” 


In contrast to the first pairing, the second pair of songs give off a completely different feel. They both have slower beats and increasingly more repetition compared to the previous songs. The songs, “i want war (BUT I NEED PEACE)” and “TO FEEL ALIVE,” are two very emotional pieces. These two are songs that I would blast while in my feelings. Both demonstrate the more frustrating parts of life. “i want war (BUT I NEED PEACE)” speaks on how one might crave chaos and recklessness while disregarding what they actually need. “TO FEEL ALIVE” repeats the lyric “I just want to feel alive” throughout the song and makes the listener not only hear her longing but feel it along with her. 


Both parts of the EP are absolutely stunning and work very well together. Social distancing has had an effect on everyone, including those in the music industry. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, many artists such as Uchis are still finding ways to produce music for their audience. Even though fans are still anticipating her new album, many like myself loved the little taste of what’s to come.