Thursday, February 24, 2011

kyu: kyu (pop frenzy)

Sydney all girl duo Kyü’s self-titled debut is an extraordinarily likeable record. This is pop as it should be: melodic enough to grab your attention but interesting enough to retain it. Considering that the pair played their first ever gig virtually on a whim in round one of the Sydney University band competition only last year, that is all the more astonishing a fact. Freya Berkhout and Alyx Dennison make music that deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as that of Swedish avant-pop powerhouses The Knife, who are clearly a major influence here. As comfortable with piano, glock and live percussion as they seem to be with electronics and samples, Kyü’s sound though is bigger, more spacious and certainly more accessible. There are shades of Florence and Bat for Lashes here which are bound to win them more friends than enemies in the long run.

After the virtually Gregorian reverb-filled opener Foreword, track 2 Sistar is certainly a standout, as is Koi which has a distinctly ceremonial, “world music” flavour about, though what precisely the references are here my knowledge is far too feeble to say! Trax, by contrast, tells the sad but touching story of a friend returning home from London “broken, trailing a coke addiction”, bathing it in well-placed piano chords and delicate harmonies. “How did my life come to this? It’s not the one that I envisioned.” If their debut record is anything to go, Kyü may soon be wondering that themselves, though for entirely more happy reasons.

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