Kwamie Liv — 5 AM

“Everybody’s hiding in the neon lights.
This city is a jungle, better learn to fight.”

Last night I fell down the Pigeons & Planes wormhole, as I sometimes do, and before I hit the bottom, I hit this song.

Kwamie Liv is a singer/songwriter from Copenhagen. The internet seems to have very few details on who this girl is. “5 AM” is the only original piece of music she has online. There’s also a Weeknd cover on her Soundcloud.

Past that, you’re outta luck. She’s a phantom.

Apparently she’s getting some traction internationally, but she definitely hasn’t hit the States yet. America seems to be slacking. She’s even cracked her way into the rotation on Sudan’s only all-English radio station, Capital Radio. I heard the radio when I was in Sudan. It’s chaotic and sloppy at best. The fact that America lost the race to Kwamie Liv should be a source of embarrassment.

Simply put, “5 AM” is beautiful. The whole track rides on top of a cushion of soft vinyl static. Liv’s whispery, echoing singing voice perfectly complements the downtempo production. The title works because the whole song seems to be swimming through an early-morning fog. By the time the auto-tune on the chorus hits, it’s full bliss.

Production credits on this one go to Liv herself, as well as Baby Duka. Unsurprisingly, this Baby Duka character is equally mysterious. I can tell you he’s also an artist from Copenhagen. That’s about all I know. His Facebook page lists Liv as his “Editor & Creative Accomplice”, so it would appear that the two are pretty close collaborators.

The only obstacle I see in the way of Kwamie Liv’s future success in America are the obvious and unavoidable comparisons to Lana Del Rey. Liv’s production, lyrics, voice, and aesthetic are all very reminiscent of Lana’s music that much of America is so familiar with.

On the other hand, Liv still only has one song, and it arguably shows more of a willingness to experiment than Lana’s music ever has. I think there’s certainly room for the two to co-exist.

“5 AM” was released 3 months ago, and we haven’t gotten so much as another lyric from Liv since. The overall lack of output would seem to indicate that she’s taking her time with her debut project in order to capitalize on the bit of momentum this single has provided her. It’s definitely a smart move, but I’m also suddenly clamoring for more music. Hopefully it’s coming soon. I look forward to hearing more from Kwamie Liv in the coming months.