Next Wave #584: Kill J

Alt-pop with an R&B edge…
Kill J

Kill J have remained pretty much a mystery since making huge waves with their first track ‘Phoenix’ in 2013. The falsetto vocals and mix of ethereal beats with pared-down 2-step led to huge hype when it was released last summer.

Look the Danish duo up and you’ll discover that ‘Kill’ is mysterious producer Lennart Rasmussen and ‘J’ is Julie Aargard; the enigmatic face of the alt-pop outfit. Clash caught up with Julie on the morning of a King Krule support slot in Copenhagen, and attempted to delve into the Kill J mystique.

“The name grew out of a Kill Your Darlings kind of project, which became too complicated. So, we started killing off everything that didn’t seem 100 percent necessary, which has resulted in us leaving out as many of the low frequencies in the music as possible.

Soaring sonar noises leave a platform for Julie’s classically trained vocals to resonate – there’s even points in ‘Phoenix’ where her voice has been manipulated to sound like mythical bird screams. 

Their second release, ‘Bullet’, has a more obvious hip-hop influence and is accompanied by a SoundCloud description that is as intriguing as the duo themselves, dedicating the track to “the victims of other people’s bullshit”.

Julie sheds some light: “‘Bullet’ is inspired by a religious friend of mine who always seemed to punish me for his own doubts whenever we had discussions. I guess ‘Bullet’ is really for those people that feel victim to other people’s religious doubts.” 

Despite having an equal input in the production process, all of the lyrics are provided by Julie. “I don’t like the idea that many artists have that you sit down and then you wait to be inspired by something. I can inspire myself – I usually write my best things when I’m really pissed off.”

The mysteries or Kill J are starting to unravel – after doing a show in London recently, Julie assures us that it’s the Brits that get them better than anyone.

“For a non-English speaking person, the lyrics are pretty secondary, but in London it was more direct. It feels that the Brits have really gotten my points a lot faster than the Danes have because the lyrics are so integral. Not that the Danes are slow or anything!”

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WHERE: Denmark

WHAT: Alt-pop with hip-hop production and an R&B edge

GET 3 SONGS: ‘Phoenix’, ‘Bullet’ (video above), ‘Phoenix’ (Galimatias Remix)

FACT: Julie regularly eats chocolate biscuits for breakfast: “I have a bad, sugary diet. I’m what us Danes call ‘thin-fat’; I eat complete rubbish but stay slim. I’m thinking I should care more about what I eat!”

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Words: Hana Barten
Photo: Trinity Ellis
Fashion: Lola Chatterton

Kill J online

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