Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Is it Me or is it You?
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s latest album Let’s Turn It Into Sound is her most playful to date. From the visuals, featuring a 3D animated neon coloured digital avatar, to the approach to the music, Smith embraces a giddy whimsicality that at its best, brings unconditional joy in the same way an ice cream cone would to a child on a hot summer day. This sense of play is how songs like Have You Felt Lately can switch from fanciful and sylphlike harmonies and childlike choral passages to astral drum’n’bass, or how the jovial arcade and 8-bit sounds on Check Your Translation can sit on the same record as the effervescent highlife of Unbraid: The Merge.
At the centre of the record is the six and a half minute opus, Is it Me or is it You? A shapeshifting soundscape, the composition opens with shuddering tribal house beats, cosmic choral vocals and an acerbic synthline. We’re thrown into a wormhole of abstraction, deposited onto the other side of a wind instrument soundscape on which layers of Smith’s pitched and processed vocals chant. A glitch in this matrix drops us into throbbing jungle techno, propulsive and humid. It ends with a solo flute passage. Is it Me or is it You? is for all accounts, bonkers. But it is held together by Smith’s delightfully offbeat approach to sound making itself. To create sound is a strange, wondrous thing, and Smith reconnects with the wonder of discovering something new in a way that feels as close as you can get to actual magic.
Listen to Is it Me or is it You? below.
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