iamamiwhoami

bounty

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Though Jonna Lee and Claes Björklund chose to make Kin the debut album from their mysterious project iamamiwhoami, it was the songs that make up bounty that started it all. While Kin was a more polished and cohesive set of songs overall, the weirdness of bounty's tracks -- which provided a soundtrack to the enigmatic viral videos that the duo created -- still holds a powerful appeal long after the identities of the people behind the music were revealed. In fact, it might be easier to just enjoy this music without the need to guess who made it, and there's a lot to enjoy on bounty, from the dreamy electronic fragments of "b" to the more defined synth pop of "o," which mourns and celebrates "love/the kind that kills." Much of the album alternates between atmospheric pieces and more structured songs, but even the most ambitious pieces, like "u-2," which begins with a pounding club beat and drifts off on an airy coda, and the sparking "n," are more abstract and intimate than Kin's synth pop epics. The seeds of that album are planted on songs such as the hard-edged mysticism of "t" -- whose video revealed that Lee was unquestionably a part of this project -- and the darkly flirtatious, trip-hop-tinged "clump," which was originally released as a single that came after the original "bounty" videos but was considered a part of that era by Björklund and Lee. However, the most vital moments might be the smallest, strangest ones; Lee sounds like she's half singing, half muttering to herself on "u-1," and the witchy pop of "y" drifts off like a puff of smoke. In some ways, it's not surprising that these songs are often odder than Kin, since the duo had to work harder to conceal and transform Lee's identity when they were writing and recording them. Ultimately, bounty was made to create mystique and interest, and it still does that even after iamamiwhoami's secret wasn't one anymore.