Kali Uchis is a Colombian-American singer-songwriter. She released her third album, Red Moon in Venus, on March 3rd, 2023. The theme of the album is love, and Uchis explores this concept and all it encompasses in each song. Along with the album, Uchis released additional details about the songs on the Spotify timeline.
Red Moon in Venus opens with “In my garden…” – a 30-second introduction that sets the tone of the entire album. Uchis is speaking to someone over the phone and reminding them that she loves them with ethereal nature sounds providing the background noise. It is an iconic and refreshing way to open an album. Uchis explains that, “love is the message of this body of work and because of that I felt it was crucial to open with a warm loving welcome. A lot of my music is for the people who feel unloved, whether it be calling love into your life, releasing people with love, self-love. I feel it was important for me to start the project speaking love into it.” “In my garden…” is followed by “I wish you roses” which was also released as a single before the rest of the album was released. The background nature noises continue into “I wish you roses” creating a cohesive sound to the album. The song intertwines the themes of love and nature specifically using flower imagery. “I wish you roses” is all about letting go of past relationships but releasing these people with love “because when you wish the worst for others you only curse yourself.” Uchis also wanted to emphasize flowers and roses because “too many people only give you your flowers once you’re no longer in this world, and I believe wishing well to everyone is a crucial part of making room for blessing to come.” Shifting away from the ethereal sounding “I wish you roses,” “Worth the wait” features Omar Apollo and maintains the discussion about love. Omar Apollo and Kali Uchis seamlessly combined their sounds in “Worth the wait.” The song emphasizes the value of being exclusive with those that you share your body with/ are intimate with because your body is something worth waiting for.
“Love between” has a more funkadelic sound with a punchy slap bass guitar and sounds reminiscent of 60s/70s love songs. In fact, Uchis sampled “Love Can Be So Wonderful” by the Temprees which is a song that explains all of the wonders of falling in love between a boy and a girl. In “Love between” Uchis reiterates the theme of the simplicity of love but makes the language more inclusive by singing about love between two human beings. She plays on the lyrics of the Temprees by mentioning phone calls, spending an eternity together, and just making each other happy and each other’s soul’s smile. Overall, “Love between” is more inclusive and uses more abstract language while preserving the same idea of love being simple and wonderful. “All mine” continues with the funkadelic, 60s/70s love song vibe of “Love between” but adds a modern twist. The song is about claiming someone for your own as Uchis sings, “so, go and tell everyone you know // that you’re all mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.” “All mine” is also about how people can become bitter when they see people being in love and intimate with each other which Uchis explains by singing, “I wonder if it hurts how hard they try// to take what’s mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.” On spotify’s storyline, Uchis wrote that “this song is about tuning all that out and just being focused on each other; remembering the only thing that’s real is the love that’s right in front of you.” “Fantasy” is the sixth track on Red Moon in Venus and features don Toliver. The song opens with Troliver saying “I wanna dance” in his iconic heavily autotuned and reverbed voice. “Fantasy” is about having high expectations for a relationship and expecting to be “worship[ped].” The song emphasizes not settling and living out the full fantasy of being totally in love because real love can feel fantastical and there is no need to settle for anything less. The track ends abruptly by Uchis cutting off the chorus and stating “that’s it, that’s the end of the song // come on baby, let’s go home.”
“Como te quiero yo” is the first bilingual track on Red Moon in Venus. In classic Uchis fashion, she seamlessly switches between Spanish and English throughout the song while returning to the ethereal, sensual sound of the previous songs on the album. “Como te quiero yo” translates to how I love you and the song is about loving someone regardless of what other people may say or how complicated it may be as Uchis sings “‘cause we got issues, everyone does// si no hay drama, no hay amor // but lately, I just wanna make love.” “Si no hay drama, no hay amor” translates to “if there is no drama, there is no love,” which is the main theme of “Como te quiro yo.” “Hasta cuando” is another bilingual song about a past lover still being obsessed with Uchis and being unhealthily concerned about how Uchis is doing. Uchis even sings “whatever makes you feel better // paint me as the villain if that makes you feel better // make everyone hate me if that makes you feel better.” In spotify’s storyline, Uchis explains that people will talk poorly behind each other’s backs and act out on jealousy to spread lies and hatred. Red Moon in Venus circles back to the ideas in “Worth the wait” of being picky with significant others and wanting to be spoiled with the song “Endlessly.” Uchis also writes that “no one deserves your time or intimacy unless they work for it with romantic gestures, dates, gifts, consistent special attention.”
“Moral conscience” is a shift in the message of the album as it discusses the effects of karma. Kali Uchis actually shared that “Moral conscience” is about a specific family member who cause her and her family pain but she does feel that the song “can be applied to anyone that think they can do wrongdoing and get away with it. Doing wrong to good people will always only curse you in the end.” Her sentiment is evident in the song lyrics “She’s comin to collect cause karma won’t forget.” To align with the more serious tone, the song is filled with harsher sounds and even includes Kali Uchis screaming and hitting whistle notes. “Not too late” is an interlude that signals a change to a more eerie with deeper fuller bass notes to contrast the high pitch bird whistling in the background. According to Spotify’s storyline, Uchis wrote “Not too late” to “tease to anyone obsessed with speaking negatively on my [her] name.” Following “Not too late”, “Blue” continues with the deeper, darker, and fuller sound which reflects the song’s lyrics which discuss the ups and downs of being in a relationship and how it can be difficult. Uchis sings “ice-cold, actin’ funny with your phone and// now I can’t control my attitude.” Red Moon in Venus takes a final, upbeat turn with “Deserve me” which features Summer Walker. The song is all about knowing your worth in a relationship and not settling for less. “Moonlight” then returns the listeners to the sounds of the beginning of the album, similar to that of “Love between.” With words of pain sprinkled throughout, the song describes getting high off of being with your significant other. Red Moon in Venus is rounded out with “Happy Now,” a song about choosing happiness and peace above all else because at the end of the day being in love with yourself is the most important part of life.
Red Moon in Venus details all the different aspects of love from falling in love with someone else to loving yourself. It is a beautiful album with a beautiful message.