It’s a bittersweet day for fans of the Chilean indie pop golden age, as a brand new single from indie mystic Kali Mutsa is accompanied by the unhappy news she is retiring from music. The multi-faceted artist has announced her curtain call with “Hayako Hayako,” the lead single off her forthcoming and final EP, Madre del Agua, a collection of songs exploring funerary rituals and emotional purging.
“The violent death of someone I love very much plunged me into a great fear of the unknown,” she tells Remezcla. “… of death and of the senselessness of the living. This EP, this song, forced me to investigate death and its cultural significance – the different ways in which the rite of farewell has been celebrated throughout history. Researching [death] and trying to design my own ritual helped me find comfort in having a certain amount of power over my existence.”
Premiering on Remezcla today, “Hayako Hayako” is nothing short of a triumphant swansong. Rapturous, overwhelming and wonderfully cathartic, the Pablo Stipicic-produced track is built on an eerie xylophone melody and thundering bass lines recorded on a nearly 200-year old organ at the Catedral Anglicana de San Pablo, in Valparaiso. The song is also accompanied by a music video co-directed by photographer Liu Marino and Kali Mutsa herself, and starring a powerful dancer performing acrobatic choreography across a vast field of green.
“This song, ‘Hayako Hayako,’ is an anthem,” she adds, “or at least I feel like it is. I made it with Pablo Stipicic and the frenetic xylophone is meant to evoke the chirping of birds – specifically of one called Hayako Hayako, which sings at dawn. It’s a song loaded with vibrations and epic energy, with an ancient organ as its base and heart.”
The brainchild of respected Chilean actress Celine Reymond, Kali Mutsa emerged as a bizarre talent on the fringes of the indie pop explosion that came to define much of the nation’s musical legacy for the past decade. From the wild gypsy glee of her 2014 debut, Ambrolina, to the bangra-soaked bangers of 2016’s Mesmer, and the dark ballroom influences of 2017’s La Devoración, Kali Mutsa has remained one of Chile’s most fascinating, unpredictable and unyielding musical figures. And even as things come to an end with Madre del Agua (something loyal fans will undoubtedly refuse to accept) her vivacious spirit of originality and self-assurance remains strong within both music and artistry.
“I wanted to create a funerary mass to say farewell to a musical project that has brought me much happiness,” she reflects. “I think funerals should be joyful and help the mourning achieve transcendence. This EP is for funerals but also for anniversaries and weddings; to watch an eclipse or to be alone and dream; to celebrate the end of one thing and the beginning of another. I wanted to make music for the funeral of my dreams and for it to serve whoever needs it, whenever they need it.”