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  • Writer's pictureThe Bad Wolf Team

Kelsie Kimberlin comes back heavier than ever: "Vlad," the new single by the American-Ukrainian singer that will give nightmares to the War Architects.

Many of us were simply awestruck by the power and versatility of Kelsie with the release of "Armageddon," a true alternative rock anthem that made its debut on September 8th and that we had the pleasure of experiencing here at Bad Wolf Records. However, the surprises don't end there! The American-Ukrainian singer returns with all her strength to close out this 2023 and start this new year 2024 in the best way possible, dazzling us once again with her new release titled "Vlad," where she makes a comeback to that heavy sound but this time with even greater rawness, both in its sound and in the intense message it carries with it.

 


About The Artist

Kelsie Kimberlin is a talented 24-year-old singer-songwriter who has been involved with music throughout her life. She began with children's and church choirs, recording her first song at the age of eight for Yoko Ono's Peace Project, winning the first prize and a $5000 award. She invested all that money in music lessons and started recording her own music in the studio at the age of 12. In recent years, she has recorded over 100 original songs. Since June 2020, she has released a dozen songs on YouTube and music platforms worldwide, collaborating with prominent producers on three continents, including several Grammy winners and nominees such as Liam Nolan (Adele), Simon Gibson (Beatles, Paul McCartney), Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer), Greg Calbi (Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga), Joe Laporta (Shawn Mendes, Lizzo), Brent Kolatalo (Kendrick Lamar, Eminem), and Stuart Hawkes (Amy Winehouse). Kelsie has literally spent thousands of hours in the music studio over the last ten years and currently dedicates at least two days a week to recording new original material.



Her music has received airplay worldwide and was in the top 20 of radio charts in Ukraine for three months before the war. She is Ukrainian-American and openly expresses her support for Ukraine. In August 2023, she traveled to Ukraine, where she participated in humanitarian work and filmed three music videos depicting the effects of the war on Ukrainians. The filming took place under martial law, with air raid sirens sounding and attack drones and missiles being shot down in the sky. She is the first artist granted permission to film in the locations of the worst atrocities in Bucha and Irpin. The first video, "Armageddon," was released in September with enthusiastic reviews and has garnered nearly a million views, plays, and streams. She received recognition from the Armed Forces and a gift from an aide to President Zelensky for her support of Ukraine. Her second video, "Another Chance to Live," was released on October 16th and has already gone viral.


Kelsie is also collaborating with Bogotá-based producer Pedro Vengoechea on several songs. In July, she flew to Colombia to film two music videos directed by award-winning filmmaker Cristian Flores, taking her to the tropical jungle and the village of an indigenous tribe. Kelsie is truly an international artist.


About The Release

"Vlad," officially premiered on December 11th, is undoubtedly one of Kelsie's most remarkable releases to date. Serving as her ninth release of 2023, it comes to close the year on a high note. In this song, Kelsie returns to that rock essence reminiscent of one of her previous releases "Armageddon," which captivated thousands of rock fans worldwide. Not only due to its incredible and electrifying sound but also because of its interesting and profound theme addressing the reality of the ongoing warfare in Ukraine. It serves as a voice for those innocent souls who have suffered the consequences of war.



In this way, "Vlad" arrives to continue spreading this message at its highest point with the strength and bravery that characterizes Kelsie and her music. Returning to that heavy sound of alternative rock, but this time incorporating new elements, seamlessly blending genres like punk-rock and rap-rock, creating an auditory experience that leaves a lasting impact on listeners. Not only because of its captivating and imposing sound but also because of its message—a message that truly manages to shake our conscience completely and will surely cause more than one nightmare for... you know who. (you can name it what you like)



In-Depth Analysis

Layers of synthesizers, distorted guitars, double-pedal percussion, a catchy chorus, guitar solos—the list is simply endless! And that's exactly what makes this song one of the most highlighted in Kelsie's discography, this one is one of those songs where you're not exactly sure what you'll encounter around the corner.


"Vlad" begins impressively, with incredible intensity. With an aura that carries dark undertones, primarily driven by the deep sound of synthesizers and electric guitar, together creating an atmosphere of tension and suspense, effectively evoking the horrors of war. It immediately immerses the listener in an immensely immersive experience that is both impactful and disconcerting from the first second.


Over a rhythmic foundation influenced by hip-hop and rap, Kelsie makes her entrance forcefully, leaving behind the melodic voice that has delighted us in her previous releases to showcase incredible strength and craft an intriguing lyric work. Using an interesting lyrical device through repetition, she begins to unravel all her intense emotions as if it were a list—a list of all the atrocities that have shattered the well-being of those who have suffered the consequences of the armed conflict. It seems as though those responsible couldn't or, more accurately, wouldn't see. In this way, her compelling narrative is presented with palpable authenticity. Her ability to make her words sound like a condemnation to those who have caused so much harm without facing the consequences showcases that she is not only an incredible vocalist and a talented singer but also a master in the art of composition.





Upon reaching the second verse, we are in for the first surprise, as "Vlad" takes a 360° turn where the instrumental base adopts a more punk rock tone. You can clearly appreciate how the percussion and distorted guitars, marking the notes with a 'palm mute' technique, pave their way toward the chorus, gradually increasing the intensity. This sets the perfect stage for Kelsie to deliver one of the most powerful and challenging lines of the song.


"Yeah, you think you are bad and you want to make sure that the world is fearing you all of the time and you want to make sure that your war’s gonna take you all of the way to the top but you’re wrong because you are such a bad man, yea, you are such a bad bad, bad bad, bad bad …. Man"

Kelsie's words resonate like a bucket of cold water of reality, with incredible rawness, revealing the true nature of the person to whom the piece is directed. Beyond being an incredible anthem of struggle that resonates with all of us collectively, "Vlad" certainly reflects how horrifying the nightmares of this man should be. Echoing repeatedly inside his head without respite. In this way, Kelsie once again demonstrates her courage to communicate what we all think about it but often cannot or dare not say.


But this story doesn't end here. This piece is part of a four-song collection that delves further into this intriguing theme, including "Armageddon," "Another Chance To Live," "Vlad," and the final chapter, "We Are The Promise" which is accompanied by a spectacular music video that Kelsie has been diligently working on since 2017. It is set to be released next week, so mark your calendars for January 8th! as it promises to deliver an incredible audiovisual experience, proving Kelsie's mission through music is a serious compromise.



If you've enjoyed this incredible song, we also invite you to listen to Kelsie's complete discography, which you can find at the following link, and it's undoubtedly worth experiencing. Also, follow her on social media to stay updated on her latest news and new releases.

 

Kelsie Kimberlin On-Line

 

 

 

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