Bitter’s Kiss – “The Rope”
When someone experiences life – as in, truly sees what horror the world can bring – they can react in two ways: reaffirm their faith in the good, or lose all faith that good ever existed. You are swayed one end of the spectrum or the other, often with no middle ground.
Bitter’s Kiss “The Rope” is, in more ways than one, a commentary on those two opposing sides. The track’s radio edit was recently released by the face of Bitter’s Kiss, Chloe Baker, with an earily dark thematic feel. It questions the religiously devout, and examines the depressed, and prompts the following melancholic conundrum: “There’s a quicker way to heaven,” Baker sings, “If you can find yourself a rope.”
It’s a fair question, honestly. With so much pain and suffering, why would one remain magnetized to faith when there’s an easier way to end the pain? The question is a depressing one, but the lyrics are part of what makes “The Rope” so attractive: as haunting as these lyrics are, the song is beautiful.
Musically, much of Bitter Kiss’s sound is similarly contradictory. “The Rope” has an Eastern, classical feel, overlapped with Western digital beats and electric guitar, similar to Vindata. Contemporary, yet with a lot of history behind it. Familiar, yet foreign.
Baker’s self-titled, eight-track album, which came out this spring, merges in and out of these sounds and genres, while bringing sophistication to the record. “No One Will” is a sweet swing with beachy guitar and brushes on snares. “Too Far Too Fast” offers a 311-like flange to its melody. And “Lovin’ Life” edges more towards electronica, a simple, optimistic pop song that curiously follows “The Rope” (the album version of which, by the way, is even more dark thanks to its rainstorm intro).
Other songs on Bitter’s Kiss share the same melancholy as “The Rope,” but their beats don’t cut as deep. The single is the strongest representation of Bitter’s Kiss the artist, described by Baker as a “music project,” allowing for these tracks to act more as a commentary on humanity than just a voice comparable to Regina Spektor’s piano-perfect vocals or Gabrielle Aplin’s warm evening-airiness.
Bitter’s Kiss the artist is smooth and sweet and ghost-like, but with so much range in instrumentation, Bitter’s Kiss the album, and even more so “The Rope” itself, are much more obscure. These are songs for smoky nights with a bottle of liquor, or for quiet summer porch hangs, or for hours-long isolation in your room with the shades drawn shut. Bitter’s Kiss isn’t necessarily for wallowing, though; it’s for paying attention to.