Yet this arrangement inspired one of 2020’s most brash, defiant, and flat-out righteous projects. It’s just not Illuminati Hotties’ second album: Described as a “mixtape,” Free I.H.: This Is Not The One You’ve Been Waiting For — out a week from now — is essentially Tudzin spitting in Tiny Engines’ hand before she puts money back into it
Illuminati Hotties have announced some new tour dates.
After listening to Illuminati Hotties’ first single, “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” it would be reasonable to assume the project’s debut album would be full of similarly jaunty vaguely-surfy indie pop songs. That’s maybe half-right. Kiss Yr Frenemies is about a fifty-fifty split of bright fuzzed-out jams and moodier, slow-burning ballads.
If the lead single represents the former category, then second single “Cuff” is probably most indicative of the latter. It’s ambient and atmospheric, and even its blown out chorus feels restrained compared to the loudest moments on the record, Sarah Tudzin’s voice never rising above a plaintive croon. It doesn’t even sound like the same band as “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” let alone like it belongs on the same album. And this is a trend throughout Kiss Yr Frenemies; nearly every single song brings something entirely different to the table. There’s an “ooh-ooh-ooh” backed chorus on the sugary gem “Paying Off the Happiness,” there’s a noisy, brassy climax to the meditative “For Cheez (My Friend, Not the Food),” there’s the raw singalong energy of “boi,” and none of it feels out of place.