‘Sally’ by underground producer KIANVSLIFE lends itself so well to a lofi hip-hop song that, upon first listening, I was surprised that there was no actual rapping; rather, the singer-songwriter Kian weaves a chilled-out yet subtly anguished lyrical piece that stretches on and on like a sweltering summer day. The feel of ‘Sally’ – the instrumentals of which sound like a hazy interlude on a Tyler, the Creator album – brings me back to a more nostalgic time. Maybe it’s because we’ve all been inside for too long; after all, the dreamy, slow-motion feel of ‘Sally’ seems to bring forth a yearning for the simple, quarantine-free summer days of our late teens.
My one critique of the song is that I’m not entirely sure where it fits on the musical spectrum. I go back and forth between deciding if the song would benefit from a toned-down rap verse, like Kian’s previous collab ‘Frio’ with dereck d.a.c, or whether it’s better simply as an easygoing summer vibe, like his similarly dreamy melody on ‘Quente’. Perhaps that’s the beauty of Kian’s production style, which teeters just on the edge of bedroom pop while keeping it sharp with notes of hip hop.
Ultimately, this is a quarantine song through and through; keeping an understated instrumental while bursting through with just enough energy to keep the listener upbeat. It makes me remember that I can’t wait to actually see people again—this is what I’ll be showing them.