ko aka koala Uses her Ultra-Sweet, Hyper-Pop Signatures On New Single “tic tac boom”

Photo by Markus Klinko
February 6 2024

PRAISE FOR ko aka koala

“A signature twist on ultra-sweet, soft sounds.”


“Her honest, experimental songs elate fans.”

The Untitled Magazine

“The LA-based creative doesn’t hesitate to explore.”


“Her music is an art to express more of herself, but it’s meant to stand on its own.”

Riff Magazine

“tic tac boom” is out now, buy/stream it here

Following the recent release of her EP Chef’s Kiss, the DIY hyper-pop star ko aka koala — known for sharing stages with Charli XCX, Troye Sivan, and 100 gecs as much as her sly songwriting and “signature twist on ultra-sweet, soft sounds” (PAPER) — is sharing the new single “tic tac boom.” Listen to “tic tac boom” here.

The track keeps ko aka koala’s hyper-pop signature on the spearhead by way of glitchy percussion and her tenderhearted, high-pitched vocals. Swelling, velvety synths fill in any and all gaps left, but become the heart of the song and its singer.

Of “tic tac boom,” ko says: “It’s a sonic love story that will make your heart race. It’s about the rash decisions that you make when you’re deeply infatuated with someone. A momentary state of bliss — but while it lasts it’s a rare moment to be enjoyed.”

ko aka koala’s Chef’s Kiss came as a crystallization of her refined and wickedly sharp pop vision, and features collaborations with producers Stefan Ponce (Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino), Shintaro Yasuda (Ariana Grande, TheWeeknd), and more. The LA-based creative stitches together k-pop, techno, and hip-hop while doing her own makeup, photography, and design work — putting the term DIY to ultimate task.

Throughout the EP, we get a fully-completed thesis, interwoven with humor and clever cultural references; highly satirical self-awareness that plays into the subversive themes throughout. Focus track “stoptryingtohavesexwithme” encapsulates the deeper message woven into the fun, while “Chef’s Kiss” is a fizzy pile-up of overt, ever-more-absurd sexual innuendos that results in a winking, winning inversion of pop-star hypersexuality. “Mankiller” — a track inspired by Britney Spears’ club-crushing electro era — boasts a towering chorus, a stack of robotic harmonies fit for a femme fatale’s murder montage. “Sorry In Advance” has a tongue-in-cheek, “ironically unironic” pop aesthetic. Propelled by DnB breakbeats and candy-colored synths reminiscent of Nicki Minaj circa Pink Friday, it’s a worthy theme song for KO’s unpredictable charms.

ko aka koala has built up a significant cult following (including her 120k Instagram followers) already with her outsized and self-styled aesthetic, sledgehammer hooks, crisp production work, and mischievous approach to pop ingenue sexual tropes. Critics have taken notice: ko aka koala already has fans at PAPER, Untitled (“exploratory, innovative pop music…her honest, experimental songs elate fans”), Hypebae, and more.

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