C’est Karma is the project of 20-year-old Luxembourg-born, Amsterdam-based artist Karma Catena, and she’s releasing her Amuse-Bouche EP on May 13. Today she shares a new single from it called “Gateaux”, saying:
“’Gateaux’ is a sign of our times, it’s about the young generations and our future. I wanted to create an opposition between an ideal world and the world we are headed towards if we don’t act upon climate change. I address the children of the future that will be left with the ruins of our present.
“I wanted the lyrics to be poetical and so the French words came to me naturally being strongly inspired by canonical French poets like Baudelaire and Éluard who address very dark topics in very poetic ways. I am fascinated by the way these authors shape images with words and tried to take this over into my own writing. Having been active in various climate activist youth groups in my early teens, my frustration towards the political idleness grew over the years. A large part of my generation feels like our future is being jeopardised by those in power, and that’s what Gateaux is about.”
For a song called “Gateaux”, it’s not very sweet at all – but that’s exactly the point. C’est Karma is pointing out the complacency of enjoying life in a carefree manner while we’re headed towards a number of different, equally painful ends for humanity. Sing-speaking in French, her pointed and surrealist words about burned children stealing hot chocolates is underpinned by production that feels like being in the bowels of an MRI machine. Juddering bass, wailing alarms and percolating percussion blasts are just some of the sounds in the armoury, which is capped off by Karma’s poison-tipped voice. Whether you understand the words or not, it’s an explosive wake-up call.