Alright mutants, SHE'S FINALLY HERE. Following a sold out residency last fall at The Shed and February's hour-long single, "@@@@@," multi-talented producer, performer, artist, model and 21st century diva, Arca, is back with the first single off her highly anticipated new album. Let the KiCK era begin.
The opening track off the artist's upcoming album, KiCK i, "Nonbinary" functions as a manifesto not only for Arca's most pop-leaning record to date but her worldview at large. In her recent digital cover story for PAPER's Transformation issue, Arca explains that being nonbinary is more than just a gender identity, it's a philosophy. "It gives me the feeling of possibility, to not allow for easy categorization. I wouldn't want to just go pop and I wouldn't want to go full experimentalist," she says, explaining that the mindset allows for an individual to contain often contradicting multitudes within themselves while still feeling fundamentally whole. "That's where a nonbinary mode of thinking feels really fertile. It opens possibilities rather than collapsing things. Allowing for change without resisting it."
Starting off with a spoken word monologue full of vivid imagery like "french tips wrapped around a dick," Arca bobs and weaves through a lumbering metallic beat before shots get fired and she's all of a sudden imploring listeners to speak for their own "self-states" amidst a barrage of bullets and swirling explosions. Clocking in at compact two minutes and 20 seconds, "Nonbinary" wastes no time strapping listeners in and taking them for a ride, one second sexily whispering in their ear and the next plunging them into a stomach churning rollercoaster dive.
Not to mention, "Nonbinary" comes alongside an equally insane video with 3D visuals courtesy of Frederik Heyman that see Arca laid out pregnant on a robotic operating table, smoking on top of a rock with scissors sticking out of her side and covered in roses emerging from a clam shell like a cybernetic Marilyn Monroe. The video culminates in a telenovela-esque argument between Arca and herself clad in both black and white dress. This stark visualization of self-states fuels the track — a dramatization of two seemingly at odds yet they're contained within one person. "I'm asking for recognition that we have multiple selves without denying that there's a singular unit," Arca explains. "[It's] the difference between the pronoun use of 'they' and 'it.' It's that I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I want to be seen as an ecosystem of minor self-states without being stripped of the dignity of being a whole."
Stream Arca's new single "Nonbinary," below, and stay tuned for more updates to come.
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Photography: Carlota Guerrero, Carloz Saez and Arca for PAPER