"Surrounded", which features the voice of the wonderful Angelino songstress Kotomi, is one of the most powerful tracks on the album, and it feels like a natural extension of the R&B remixes that Hemsworth came up on. The singer’s voice breathes life into the lyrics like a good actor into a bad role—the preciousness of the words is swallowed by the power of her emotion and the frantic production that surrounds her voice echoes the track’s message."
"Our introduction to LA's Kotomi came via one of the best songs of last year, in the form of her dreamy/dizzing collar with Ryan Hemsworth + Doss, from Hemsworth's 2014 LP Alone for the First Time. She returns today with a shimmering, soaring emotional pop anthem, which feels very hopeful and life-affirming despite being born of her recent experiences with loss and letting go."
"It’s ‘Surrounded’, featuring vocals from virtually unknown Californian singer Kotomi, that hints at celebrity, though. Swirling in and out in true Top 20 fashion, Hemsworth touches on genius allowing ‘Surrounded’ to sound no more out of place in between Iggy and Ariana as it does within its own tracklisting."
"With a powerfully emotive voice and dreamy production, Hillman has made Kotomi a name to know in the indie music scene over the past year or so. Indeed, Pitchfork identified her by name as a highlight on Ryan Hemsworth’s 2014 LP Alone For The First Time, calling her contribution one of “the most powerful tracks on the album” due specifically to Hillman’s “wonderful” voice that “breathes life into the lyrics.” Likewise, Gorilla vs Bear called her single “Swimming” (featured here) “warm [and] intoxicating” and dubbed her single “The Last Time” (also featured here) a “soaring emotional pop anthem.” Her music’s also been spotlighted on Spotify, BBC6, Sirius Radio, and countless music blogs. We’re big fans and very excited to share her vinyl debut with you this month."
“Over Our Heads” was manufactured next to the songstress’ bed in Los Angeles, and the track is irrefutable evidence that exceptional electro-pop can originate from anywhere. Lauren Hillman (Kotomi) presents the vocal prowess necessary to be a major pop act, and this claim is backed by her infectious chorus and smooth verses. However, we’re especially blown away by Hillman’s phenomenal production, which consists of careful manipulation of massive synths and the implementation of electronic percussion. Vocal bits and guitar chords ride atop a consistent bassline, altogether emitting a powerful pop vibe that we adore."