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KAIS – ‘What If I’

  • 2 min read

An artist with a profound talent for versatile rock sounds, timeless influences, and bold musical passages, KAIS has been keeping us entertained for years. With some acclaimed releases to his name like last year’s Hot Air Balloon’, the talented songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer has well and truly found his voice. More recently though, KAIS has delivered a new chapter, departing from his indie-rock style to deliver a more experimental sound.

Neatly packaged within the largely instrumental three-track EP ‘What If I’, KAIS' new sound comes with a sense of tranqulity, brimming with subtle confidence and creativity that takes shape through spoken word philosophical verses, evolving musical passages, and bold exploration of tone, atmosphere, and sonic ideology.

Through the opening song and title track, KAIS creates an instant disconnect with his previous releases, sharing a disarmingly poignant piece that draws you in through spoken word verses and a deep state of reflection. The music is more rhythmically complex, providing an Avant-Garde, but inviting introduction to KAIS’ new space. In second cut ‘R.E.M. State’, the artist shares a tranquil sound that resonates with trip-hop-inspired backbeats and a gorgeous reverb, creating a beautifully organic feel and natural rhythm that becomes a central part of the EP moving forward. Finally, in closing number ‘Honey Ripples’, KAIS artfully recreates a peaceful oceanic scene, experimenting with dolphin samples and underwater soundscapes.

Speaking about the new collection of songs, KAIS shared, “’What If I’ traverses themes of revival. The instrumental track with spoken vocals speaks from the dark abyss of mortal defeat. The protagonist weighs up letting his soul disintegrate or summoning an unforeseen strength to claw out of his pit to bring about his soul’s resuscitation.”

He continued, “’R.E.M. State’ is inspired by the absorbingly rejuvenating instrumentals in KAYTRANADA’s single, ‘Bus Ride’. I wanted to leave a mark on the canvas of mankind’s universe by flowing into rhythmically complex territory without becoming inaccessible to my audience. ‘Honey Ripples’ was written on a rainy day, envisioning how water droplets collide with the body of a lake before reflecting the impact through the warm and creamy honey texture of the Rhodes piano, also experimenting with dolphin samples to create an underwater soundscape haven.”

A serene release that is unassuming and undemanding in its composition, ‘What If I’ is a record happy to exist and move at its own pace. Soulful and artistic, the EP sees KAIS exploring new ground and taking powerful natural phenomena and stitching them into music. Available now, it’s a release that won’t immediately grab you, but it will reward you.

Score: 7/10

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