Arca kicked off her highest-concept project yet last year: a four-part series of albums that began with KiCk i, on which the experimental producer made some of her most pop-oriented music to date (and for which she was just nominated for a Latin Grammy). Now, she’s taking her next step on the project, announcing followup KICK ii — and her next step toward pop, working with Sia on lead single “Born Yesterday.” Sia (in her first project since her disastrous film Music) sings lead on a ballad that’s right in her wheelhouse; as Stereogum noted, it’s actually built from a leaked Sia demo.
Yet in signature fashion, Arca makes the song slightly discomforting, especially thanks to some slithering percussion in the chorus. The video, meanwhile, finds Arca (a.k.a. Alejandra Ghersi Rodriguez) dancing and lip-syncing to the song in front of a black background, clad in horns and chains.
Along with Sia, KICK ii finds Arca collaborating with musicians like Cardopusher (who co-produced KiCk i’s Rosalía linkup “KLK”) Boys Noize (a collaborator of Skrillex), and Mica Levi (who scored Jackie and produces with Tirzah). The album, out December 3, follows Arca’s recent standalone single “Incendio,” along with her remix of “Rain on Me” for Lady Gaga’s Dawn of Chromatica.
Speaking to Pitchfork about KiCk i in 2020, Arca hinted at what was to come on KICK ii and the rest of the series. “The second one, KICK ii, is heavy on backbeats, vocal manipulation, mania, and craziness,” she said at the time. There’s an unmastered version of KICK ii, but I’d like to give myself a week or two having KiCk i out, to see how that one is understood, and then I can take that opportunity to clarify or complicate whatever parts of the first Kick are getting a response. Just to keep a conversation between the audience and myself.” She added that KICK iii “is a little bit more introverted than KiCk i,” while KICK iiii “is piano only, no vocals.”