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The self-titled KAIA EP is the debut long-form release from the Canberra-born; Melbourne-based emerging dream pop producer.
The EP is a deeply personal journey in which KAIA confronts her disillusionment with, and departure from, organised religion, and examines the abiding wounds that result. Underscored by electronics that push and pull at both ends of the experimental pop spectrum, and including two collaborations with label mate Aphir, the EP is a truly unique debut from a singular talent.
KAIA notes: “The overarching theme of the EP is the search to replace that holy figure with something else and the realisation that all there is, is you.”
The passage between two worlds, and the bittersweet acceptance of a new reality, is mirrored by contrasting dark and light elements throughout the record. The production also reflects the tension and contrasts of the overall theme, often uncomfortable and unsettled, with vocals sampled and chopped to create glitch textures and additional altered vocal sampling, standing in for synths and other rhythmic elements.
“Leaving the cult I was raised in and still being tied by unrequited love to my (still practising) family members who brought me to that place allows complex emotions to flourish. Simply: there is love, but there is also resentment. Nobody comes out unscathed.”
KAIA is a Canberra-born, Melbourne-based emerging Dream Pop producer that lived her first 17 years in a cult that believes all world governments are under Satan’s control and condemns oral sex. This antithesis of a stable adolescence shaped KAIA’s sound – an alloy of sweet and sincere vocals and lyrics, wrought by extraordinary self-production.
KAIA’s incredibly layered vocals and melodies explore the depths of her upbringing and transition into adult life, just breaking through the surface when her peers had already reached shore.
KAIA is the Sirens’ song heard by the sailors in Homer’s Odyssey – lured into shipwreck, before being devoured moments later.
1. Pay No Praise 02:18
2. Know Myself 03:15
3. Strange 03:18
4. Underclouds 04:05
5. Bosca 03:12
6. Abstract Truths 02:15
Written & Produced by Karla Gilbard
Except ‘Know Myself’ – Written & Co-produced by Becki Whitton; ‘Underclouds’ – Written by Becki Whitton
Artwork by Jessica Cochrane