When she released her debut single Suenos music publications were already on their knees to worship at the altar of Aalok Bala. For detractors and skeptics though, The Hive will be a more middle-of-the-road introduction, but a religious experience nonetheless: Synths become guiding organs, Bala’s vocals acting as both mass and leader, an introductory oath.
From there, the sermon starts in a Björk-esque cadence , grappling with the self: its essence (“I have mirrors/ They show me what I look like”), its existence (“I can’t find my way back”), its ending (“How can we sustain?”). What was corporeal becomes gilded with “glitter”; what was man-made becomes messiahic (“Don’t go too far, where nothing can save you”). But faith is only as strong as its weakest moments. When the hymn returns, Bala’s voice floats pure and melodic above a distorted forest of synths, a proof of her devotion. And against the backdrop of Grimes/Muskian “Silicon Valley facism,” the automation of human lyricism and musicality , it becomes clear that Bala opts for another possibility: one of hope, with technology as a means of spirituality and salvation.