A pleasant torment vibrates through the chords and lines of rock 'n' soul's new comer Kaioyote
. Her voice simmers at a low boil, as if bubbling up from a murky brooke, and leaking over the trembling guitar driven beatscape. While the singer's sharp shabby soul shtick isn't particularly unique on the sliding scale of beautiful music, Kaioyote is a rare combination of mystique sans mystery, as straightforward and genuine as they come with an heir of something you can't quite put your finger on. Clearly drawn from the pools of blues and classic soul, Kaioyote conjures very visual connections to the sonic imagery she draws, and draws from:
"I love old blues; the gritty sittin' on the porch by the swamp music like Leadbelly and Blind Lemon Jefferson ... Their lyricism is so sincere and visual ... I'm a painter and illustrator as well, so my creative process is super visual. Whether it is the lyrics, the images that the music manifests, or the concepts for the videos. I have a hand in all of it. That is really important to me.
It's hard not to get caught up in the visuals of her contortions and the suggestions of witchcraft and violent inner turmoil in the video for "Ghosts." The movement segments were all improvised on the spot, based on a concept Kai had been ruminating on, and then cut and crafted by herself and director Victoria Kovios. As for the ghosts?
"I've got a few. Some of those ghosts are people, some are experiences from the past. But you know, the first step towards growth is acceptance. This song is a declaration of that. I've let go of some ghosts since writing it...
When asked about her vibe of mysticism she responded almost surprised at the suggestion of it, "I have always felt connected to that energy. I don't remember a time when I wasn't," and when I asked about her other worldly beliefs she simply stated, "I wouldn't say superstitious ... though I definitely believe in some stuff that probably seems wild to a lot of people. It comes from personal experience.
Watch the exclusive video premiere for Kaioyote's debut single "Ghosts," and catch her acoustic set this year at SXSW. Green to the festival circuit as she is, Kaioyote made our list of SXSW artists to watch
, and for good reason...