There is a reason why we have so many aphorisms about family and relationships. Kinship is one — if not the — most complicated connections we have to navigate, especially when our link to family is fractured and frayed to the point of failure. It’s within the context of a damaged and potentially toxic family relationship that Kimmortal opens themselves up on “I Can’t Trust You.”
As is often the case with most vulnerable artistic expressions, “I Can’t Trust You” is a song that Kimmortal didn’t know if they’d ever share with others. “I recorded [the song] on my phone, one of those quiet songs I wrote to myself to process essentially a rift within my family,” they explain, describing the song as a means of “coming to terms with change, grief and remembering that I don’t have to inherit pain and hold it in me.” It was the last song Kimmortal shared with producer Elisa Pangsaeng while the two discussed working together on music: “I wasn’t originally going to share it,” they admit, adding that with the finished product, “[Pangsaeng] really stayed true to my voice and message, and I love where we brought it”.
As soulful and heartfelt as the music turned out, the accompanying video for “I Can’t Trust You” is just as affecting. For those who’ve never experienced a rift with family members, the conflicting push-pull of duty, memory, and self-preservation is almost unbridgeable. How do you recover from the hurt that runs as deep as the blood in your veins and as long as you have been alive? In the video, Kimmortal gives themselves permission to heal by repeatedly scribing the song’s title in stark black marker on a bare white wall before releasing themselves with a final, insightful declaration: “and I, Kim, let go.”
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