At long last, Kim Petras’ debut album Feed The Beast is here, and it’s a true love letter to pop. Inspired by the LGBT+ hyperpop and house scene, Y2K icons like Britney Spears, and the moody trap and R&B of today, it’s a celebration of Kim’s extensive career to date. With this triumph of a debut, a deep dive into her past projects shows off just how far Kim’s star has risen.
Kim began her pop girl career in 2017 with the release of her glittering single ‘I Don’t Want It At All’. Calling for money, attention and designer handbags, we knew from the opening synths that she was destined for stardom. As an independent artist, Kim released eleven droplet songs, including fan favourites ‘Heart To Break’ and ‘Can’t Do Better’. She even dove into the world of PC music by collaborating with hyperpop legend SOPHIE on ‘1, 2, 3 Dayz Up’ and featuring on the Charli XCX bops ‘Unlock It’ and ‘Click’. Defining herself by her pastel fashion and side bun hairdo, Kim’s early fans coined themselves the “bunheads” during this phase which Kim lovingly labelled ‘Era 1.’
Turn Off The Light
If you thought Era 1 boxed Kim in as a standard bubblegum pop artist, 2019’s Turn Off The Light completely shattered the illusion. Noticing an excess of Christmas music, but no bangers for Halloween, Kim released a whopping eighteen songs tailored to the spooky season. Strange, experimental, and perfectly crafted for an October 31st rave, Turn Off The Light gave us incredible numbers like ‘There Will Be Blood’ and ‘Close Your Eyes’, referencing cult classic horror films and Halloween aesthetics. It was also Kim’s first true venture into instrumental music, with club-ready tracks like ‘<demons>’ and ‘TRANSylvania’ topping the list of her memorable deep cuts.
Kim’s mixtape Clarity saw her dive fully into R&B and trap. Inspired by acts like Ariana Grande and Azaelia Banks, it’s hard to deny she’s the “bitch with the sauce” when this project is spinning. Mixing the tongue-in-cheek lyricism of songs like ‘Sweet Spot’ with the genuine vulnerability of ‘Icy’ and ‘All I Do Is Cry’, Clarity’s polished sheen made it clear Kim would shine in any genre, thanks to her consistently bright, beautiful artistic vision.
Malibu/Coconuts/Future Starts Now
Off the back of her beachy track Malibu, an escapist moment amidst the early pandemic, Kim’s hard work as an independent artist finally paid off when she landed a record deal with label giant Republic in 2021. This allowed her the budget, team and coverage to truly bring her artistry to life. Her Europop single Future Starts Now saw her take to the VMAs stage for the first time with an unforgettably pink performance. Its follow-up Coconuts gained TikTok virality for its campy attitude, tropical sound and playful dance video, setting the stage for her genuine mainstream breakthrough.
As the 2000s bimbo aesthetic peaked in online popularity, Kim dropped the shockingly sexy EP Slut Pop to start 2022 off with a bang. Citing clear influence from beloved internet acts like Ayesha Erotica and Slayyyter, Kim’s goofy personality put a unique spin on the sound. The collection granted us hilariously filthy, over-the-top songs like ‘XXX’ and ‘Throat Goat’. Paying tribute to growing up in the German rave scene, each track on Slut Pop flows flawlessly into the next, making for fifteen tight minutes of vulgarity, ridiculousness and feeling the fantasy.
Feed The Beast
2023 cemented Kim Petras’s status as a pop icon for the new generation. Her collaboration with Sam Smith, Unholy, made her the first transgender woman to ever win the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Soon, she was proving her vocal chops with the explosive single ‘brrr…’, and her stage charisma with the dancefloor-ready track ‘Alone’ alongside rapstress Nicki Minaj. This explosive beginning to the year all culminates in the magical record Feed The Beast.
It should be apparent by now that any music Kim makes is a monster serve. Abiding by the dark mediaeval aesthetic of the album cover, Feed The Beast opts for a cinematic sound of dark, distorted synths and cold lyrical imagery. It’s a culmination of every style she’s explored, from the horrors of Turn Off The Light to the bubbly sounds of Era 1. Each song puts a different spin on an on-again-off-again relationship, from its brief but beautiful highs to the desperately sad lows.
Sweeping numbers like ‘Revelations’ and ‘Bait’ see Kim at her most dramatic, with eerie melodies and dreamy vocals, whilst she sells her signature brand of sex on ‘Hit It From The Back’ and ‘Sex Talk’. Standout track ‘Minute’ shimmers under the emotional weight of wanting someone wrong for you, with a warped chorus that will haunt you long after it’s over. But it’s the infectious electronic dance sound of ‘King of Hearts’ and ‘Uh-Oh’ that will really bring listeners back for more.
Melding a dark aesthetic with flourishing contemporary sounds, Feed The Beast is a meal best served to fans who love pure, perfect pop. There’s something for everyone on this album, and rest assured, Kim Petras will never give you the same sound twice. Everything she drops is a banger, indeed.