Kimbra’s music is constantly evolving — she found her roots in jazz, grew into pop and is moving into a new era of electronic funk. Nonetheless, her work is consistent and electric, no matter what it’s influenced by. It’s been three years since her last release, her critically acclaimed sophomore effort “The Golden Echo,” which veered into more experimental territory for the New Zealand artist, and her videos from that album mirrored this change. Now, as the first singles are released for her upcoming 2018 album Primal Heart, this shift into the future is notable. Kimbra is growing with her music, and the music video for her second single, “On Top of the World,” shows this clearly.
In the video, Kimbra’s contorted dance moves shudder to the harsh beat of the song as she sings in a matrix of four stone pillars, teetering in a dark, desolate landscape. Though the minimalist setting seems too simple at first, “On Top of the World”’s entrancing sound follows the artist through black, edgy costume changes and increasingly complex lyrics and tempo. She seems witch-like, but almost more powerful than that, as the chant-like verses continue into thumping chorus after chorus.
In a way, the video almost exactly mimics the emotion and primal beat of the song, evoking the dark empowerment detailed in its words. Repeating again and again, “I’m on top of the world / See me top of the herd,” the artist pushes forward into the space around her. As the columns around her start to shake and fall while the song advances, it becomes clear that Kimbra means business — she is truly on top of the world, ready to make her mark in a world that once held her down.