Kimmortal Rifflandia, Victoria BC, September 14

Kimmortal Rifflandia, Victoria BC, September 14
Photo: Lindsey Blane
Kimmortal, aka Kim Villagante, has a voice that needs to be heard. The non-binary Filipino MC from Vancouver introduced themselves by acknowledging they live on unceded Coast Salish Territories, noting respect for the Rifflandia's efforts to highlight LGBTQ POC onstage. This was the biggest stage Kimmortal had ever been on, and they were grateful for the memory, drawing a decent crowd for an outdoor stage at night, after it had been drizzling steadily for the previous ten hours.
With a pleasantly round face and an uplifting attitude, Kimmortal's stage presence was as adorable as that of Kid Koala, but with a slightly harder edge more in line with the no-nonsense politics and personal integrity of Snotty Nose Rez Kids or Tanya Tagaq, tackling subject matter like toxic masculinity, racism and homophobia.
That said, their set started off with a rather cheesy love ballad, the kind of that bogged down some moments of their set with that neo-soul, contemporary R&B sound the kids seem to like so much, but doesn't do much for me, even as blue stage lights perfectly underscored the color of Kimmortal's solitude on "I'm Blue."
Regardless of the style, Kimmortal still put all of themselves into the delivery every track, and it worked wonderfully when they got a little aggressive. "88 and Beyond" has a dope organic boom-bap rhythm and funk-nasty bass line, while their last flute-laden track kicked up its drum machine beat a few notches. Those presented a nice change of pace as many of their flows and instrumentals tended to blend together otherwise. Timed out at a precise half-hour, it was bit of a sandwich set, with the best tracks being the second last and the last one, "Sad Femme Club."
Perhaps a little overwhelmed by the stage, Kimmortal's crowd work was a little rough around the edges, but they earned a deservedly respectable response for the effort. They have a new album coming out in January, and I'd be surprised if it didn't get them on some nationwide radars.
"Please buy it 'cause we broke."

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