Sunday, January 12, 2014

SWL #49: Kairos, "Undermine"

Kairos is the project of Seattle by-way-of LA multi-instrumentalist Lena Simon. If you've spent time recently roaming the Seattle music community, chances are that you're already familiar with Simon's work. Whether producing dazzling indie rock/experimental pop in Pollens alongside Whitney Lyman and Hanna Benn, or dream-pop as part of Tomten, Simon's efforts have solidified her reputation as a local musician worth watching.

Needless to say, we think her solo work as Kairos is another massive step forward. Simon has crushed any suspicions that she's just a gifted supporting musician by composing and recording all of the drum, bass, guitar, and key work on the forthcoming EP herself. The results are phenomenal, and we're not the only ones who have noticed. Her first single, "That Which Does Not", which debuted back in October, earned her early praise from The Stranger's Lineout, a feature in this month's edition of City Arts Magazine's Attractive Singles list, and was identified among just two other local artists as among "a handful of artists that we'll be watching in 2014" by Seattle Weekly.

But while "That Which Does Not" thrives as a dark, sensual dance track, the second single off the EP, "Undermine", takes the opposite approach. It features gorgeous, dizzy instrumentation and compelling vocals over light percussion. Coupled with lyrics like "Walking in bewilderment your head down to the floor thinking/Wonder why, wonder why, wonder..." and "Take anything that you can get your hands on to keep you moving forward", this track sets the mood for thoughtful contemplation, especially during the extended, mesmerizing instrumental outro of looped clips and sighs that forms the second half. I've listened to this song over and over again and there's something comforting about it.

Lena Simon recently played with Mary Lambert on Jay Leno (1/10), and with Katie Kate on KEXP (1/11). She performs with the full Kairos live band along with Lazer Kitty and StaG (of LA) at Columbia City Theater on Thursday, January 16. We will definitely be there!

No comments:

Post a Comment