It’s far too easy, in this day and age, to find yourself overwhelmed and quite frankly jaded by the enormous droves of music available to you. It’s difficult to find the good stuff because you’re drowning in options. Then, with little warning, you stumble upon a song that lights up your senses–something fresh, catchy, and innovative. “Phases” by Kaiyi exemplifies that feeling. When it’s been a while since you’ve felt something new, throw this song on. It’ll take you for the ride of your life.
The production is probably the most notable aspect. This is not some washy, reverb-y, shoegaze-y indie tune. You’re hit with crisp, quickfire drums, cleanly gated vocals, and meticulous, staccato instrumentation. The accompaniment is so varied it’s difficult to even list the different textures. There are pianos, classical guitars, buzzing synths, and thumping bass–not to mention the occasional splash of white noise. The vocal editing goes above and beyond what you’d expect. One moment it’s clear, the next it’s distorted. It pans from ear to ear smoothly, often dipping into a lower or higher octave.
The melodic choices also create a layer of interest. The vocalist begins the song with a catchy pop melody, performed with some angsty glissandos. Eventually, the vocals evolve into something a little more complicated. Background vocals echo behind repeated phrases. Brisk spoken words fly by, deep and haunting. Long, emotional phrases drift through pools of distortion. There’s not a single moment without something vying for your attention.
If this sounds at all riveting to you, check “Phases” out immediately. You won’t regret it.
Written by Alyce Lindberg