COBRAH’s current phase might be their most fully-realised one yet, but there’s been considerable legwork to get to this point. When breakthrough single ‘Idfka’ established her as a bold new voice for Swedish pop music in 2018, she found herself caught up in trying to recreate the track’s house-inspired electropop. It wasn’t until she moved from Gothenburg to the capital Stockholm and ventured into its fetish clubs that COBRAH hit upon the textured, subversive sound that formed the bedrock of debut EP ‘Icon’.
The scene’s openness and emphasis on self-liberation inspired her to more fully explore who she wanted to be as an artist, and the aesthetics – chains and stilettos, ball gags and harnesses – became a key part of her look. Underneath the sex and latex, though, ‘Icon’ made for a deeply personal listen, too. ‘Glue’ presented a dark relationship tangled up in substances and purging (“She fills me up with glue / that only sticks on me / I drink so I can / pull myself together”) and there was power in being open about wanting to have sex with women on ‘Wet’, but this came packaged with anxiety over having something so personal be so exposed.
COBRAH’s self-titled second EP drills down deeper into the interior, exploring queer identity and self-confidence. Drawing on newfound self-assuredness, ‘Cobrah’ reflects the artist’s more dominant side; where ‘Icon’ settles into a kind of liberation, ‘Cobrah’ fully inhabits it. Sexual freedom still informs the aesthetic and features heavily throughout the tracks, but the driving force of the EP is a commitment to pleasure, not only in the erotic, but in the self – in inhabiting your own identity and ability.
The churning, drum’n’bass single ‘Dip n Drip’, a heart-racing, exhibitionist bop, celebrates the power of working alone and coming into your independence. With lyrics like “I whip it around and I dip and I dip and I drip with ambition / I’m in my prime and I drip ‘til I get my commission”, it celebrates a personal power that continues through the EP, as on the metallic, earning-power anthem ‘Bang’.
The theme of pleasure takes on its more literal form in recent single ‘Good Puss’, the post-’WAP’ yonic banger the people deserve, club-ready and throbbing, calling to mind sweat, smoke and sex. It seems that sapphic lust songs are like buses though, as ‘Good Puss’ is followed up with ‘Gooey Fluid Girls’, with its elastic beat and lyrics about pleasure and pain, bass, and bedframes banging against the wall. The two tracks are shameless – not as in ‘wanton’, but as in ‘literally without shame’. COBRAH is unrepentant about this unabashed desire; ‘Good Puss’ and ‘Gooey Fluid Girls’ lean in to blatantly queer pleasure and open sexuality. This is the EP’s centre of gravity, which COBRAH delivers with the vibrance and self-assuredness of an artist who has hit her stride.
‘Cobrah’ leaves behind some of ‘Icon’ more experimental elements in favour of a poppier sound, without sacrificing originality. It’s a bold, declarative EP, stepping into the strobe lights with arms wide open to all of earth’s many pleasures.
- Release date: May 12
- Record label: COBRAH