Given time since the last body of work released, Kidnap presented us with his debut album Grow on Armada Music. The release is 13 tracks long with a mix of previously released music, new ones and a couple of dubs. Navigating through his previous work, it seemingly points to this release which tells a story. It’s a tale of growth and how time and experiences shape who we are, told through a heart-warming lens. Additionally, Kidnap displayed an audio-visual experience at the Royal Observatory Greenwich for his album’s listening.
Grow kicks off with the title track featuring Leo Stannard which released earlier before the album’s announcement. It’s an incredible album-starter, displaying a swaying melancholia with a hint of yearning which catalyses the reflective process. All throughout, the idea of growth itself shapes and develops among the tracks. The next track ‘Ursa Minor‘ takes on a wide and spacious sound with beautiful and stark synthesis work. It softly moves through a sense of individuality in a reflective glee-like manner. Contrasting in mood, ‘Sea Breeze‘ goes into a more hitting dance groove melodically lead by the strings of Irish fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh.
Moving forward, we are met with ‘Moments‘ with Leo Stannard which is an old and familiar release from Kidnap. Considering the theme of the album, the song feels like it was a corner-stone from inception. It’s the warmest track with an ethos that I believe defines the album’s idea from many perspectives. Growth comes in many phases and is shaped by the smallest bits and pieces which might escape us, but through an honest reflective lens steering away bitterness, everybody grows. If you’ve been listening to Kidnap for a while now, the track’s placement is going to be one which tugs on the right, familiar strings. Furthermore, it really shows the idea behind the vision for the album taking from both the past and present.
‘This Unfriendly World‘ festers on a low note mumbling ‘Just Keep Rolling’ carrying difficult times. From there, ‘Isha‘ named after the evening prayer puts a spin on his previously released ‘First Light‘. It takes a contrasting rendition to the same chant with a burly tone and production. In continuation, Kidnap credits deadmau5 for the inspiration on ‘Start Again‘ as it pays homage to his music. In terms of its point, it holds a hypnotizing tone which centers on acceptance. From there, ‘Myo‘ will leave you nodding to its rhythm placing a vocal acting as a further melodic layer. The pads and overall sound has the potential to put you into a trance.
Moving towards the final three tracks, the build brings the theme of the old and new. ‘Birds That Fly‘ is an old song which has somewhat become an anthem of Kidnap’s music. Taking from the old, ‘Willow Tree‘ is a new song with his old friend Leo Stannard. The track seeps of sorrow through memories which ache carried in the story-telling. It seems to morph sounds and shape itself around wishing to be in a different moment, to disappear from what’s happening. Finally, the album somewhat ends on ‘Tempest‘ which is a remnant of the new. It emphasizes staccato notes which bring in percussive elements. Throughout, it pulls bits and pieces in and out, both percussive or melodic until it takes a solid shape. Salient strings and piano notes merge for an immersive experience. Finally, you’ll find two dubs for ‘Grow’ and ‘Start Again’ if you want to listen to them with variant production.
For Kidnap’s own take on his album, you can read his director’s cut where he comments on each track here.
Listen to Kidnap’s debut album on Armada Music down below!
Kidnap – Grow