By Caitlyn McGonigal // Photographs provided by artist
Pop powerhouses Kyan Palmer and nicopop. just dropped their collaborative album, It’s Called Branding, Sweetie. The highly-anticipated release features some of their hits, including “Antisocial Socialites,” along with new tracks that showcase exactly what the producer-songwriter duo have to offer pop music.
Every track on It’s Called Branding, Sweetie showcases the importance of intricate production and killer vocals. Though, like with any album, some tracks stand out more than others, but each song on this record still brings something new to the table. nicopop. has proven to be an absolute genius when it comes to producing songs. Being able to mix together the staple pop sound of the early 2000’s and the sound of modern pop is no easy feat, but nicopop. does it effortlessly. Tracks like “Usually I’m Not Like This” and “Come4U” showcase the versatility of his production talents. “Virtual Healing” pulls some influences from the 80’s, and is one of the standout tracks on the album. From party anthems to dreamy pop, nicopop.’s production on this record gives us a glimpse into what this next decade of pop music should sound like.
Kyan Palmer’s silky vocals are what tie It’s Called Branding, Sweetie together. Taking influences from R&B and blending them with pop melodies, Palmer’s talents shine the most on “Intentions.” Palmer’s vocal range is much more vast than many of the tracks on this album let on, as seen by his harmonies in the background. After being given a glimpse into his range on this track, it feels like Palmer’s holding back in some of the other songs. Songs like “Back To Life” and “Somebody To Someone” are the weaker points of the album. While they’re still great songs, some experimentation in Palmer’s vocals could have taken them to the next level.
It’s safe to say that It’s Called Branding, Sweetie is chock-full with potential radio hits. Tracks like “What U Like,” “Coo Coo Juice,” and “Headcase” are the standout tracks on the record. Each of these songs approach pop production from a different perspective, and Palmer’s vocal stylings on each compliment the vibe that nicopop. has set up. Pulling elements from the best pop music of the past few decades, the production and songwriting on this release are some of the best that pop music has seen in a long time. It’s Called Branding, Sweetie without a doubt sets the standard for what new pop music should sound like in the 2020’s; it won’t be surprising to see nicopop. and Kyan Palmer dominating the radio charts in the next decade.