Song of the day – 195: kyü
The blurb that comes attached to the shrink-wrap with the debut album from this Sydney duo states, rather ridiculously, “10 mind-bending tracks that will change the way you listen to pop music”. Assuming, one presumes, one has never listened to any of Kate Bush’s more ethereal work, or anything associated with certain female singers from Iceland or Bulgaria.
I don’t mean to sound too disparaging. On first listen, I am way taken with kyü – a band whose existence I never even dreamed of 15 minutes ago – particularly, the monstrous valley-drum sounds on ‘Pixiphony’ that merge wickedly into the stunning, crystal-shattering voices and (crucially) chorus of ‘Trains’ and latterly ‘Koi’, sort of like ‘Earth Intruders’ but really nothing like that at all. Songs engage with a fierce pop sensibility, all the while throwing in a mesmerising diorama of sounds and musical instruments: fluttering wing-movements and stuttering synth breaks and fluting woodwind and those stunning voices, cajoling and caressing and crying and begging and enticing. The feel is exotic, hinting as pleasures far unobtainable: sometimes solemn, sometimes joyous, always hypnotic. There’s a total relish underpinning the singing which alone lifts this far above and beyond the scary territory of New Age music that some of their peers would fall immediately into.
You can listen to ‘Pixiphony’ at the Popfrenzy site alongside a bunch of other great stuff. It’s like that whole bracket of Cyclic Defrost/Lawrence English/New Weird Australia sounds intersecting with the Triple J mindset, and if that sounds horrendous then don’t be a-fear’d. It is anything but. It threatens to sweep all before it, like a cleansing wind after years of inclement, suffocating sunshine. Sure, I can hear Istanbul in there. I love Istanbul.
“Can’t we count the stars tonight?” they cry. Well, of course.
Here’s another of their songs. This one is a little misleading as to the general sound of kyü.