Sydney duo Freya Berkhout and Alyx Dennison aka Kyü, are fiercely talented. On their debut record, they combine synths, samples, beats and a cornucopia of percussive instruments to envelope listeners in their mesmerising realm of sound.
Those who have seen Kyü perform most of the songs on this record live, will feel a stagnant restraint in the recorded delivery. Occasionally the voices become shrill and strained, as opposed to the smooth and impassioned feeling the duo seem to be attempting to conjure. It’s merely a matter of taste though, and as the record progresses the voices merely become another element in the soundscape.
The ritualistic, drum heavy style lends itself to the elongated vocal gymnastics performed on Koi or the repetitive transportation ode that is Trains. The music sits between the sonic lucky dip of Animal Collective and the empowering Swedish electronics of Fever Ray in its feminine-tinged rawness, tribal in its percussive elements and enigmatic in its vocals.
It’s an accomplished first effort for a duo who have been making music for a short time, with moments of true beauty interspersed throughout the record. Trax features a hushed backing chorus that creates an almost communal feeling, whereas Sistar opens with lilting, echoing vocals that build along with the music to create a magnificently operatic song, deep bass creeping in the background. The voice is instantly reminiscent of Karin Dreijer Andersson, but the music is resolutely their own.
In Kyü lies a band with infinite potential to become one of the most exciting and interesting experimental bands on the scene.