Kye Kye
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Kye Kye

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Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m very picky about my female vocalists. It’s not that I flat out don’t like too many, but there are very few that I go out of my way to listen to. Take Laura Stevenson for example. Sit Resist is a fabulous album, but I never really want to listen to it. I know many don’t share this opinion of said album, but there is something about female vocalists that just isn’t accessible to me. They don’t draw me in. Olga Yagolnikov of Kye Kye is a strange exception though, and I’m not even that sure why. Her voice is so smooth and serene that the closest other vocalist that comes to mind is Jonsi. Sigur Ros comparisons don’t stop there, and while Kye Kye certainly isn’t a post rock band, the slow, gentle melodies do bring songs like Untitled 2 to mind. Kye Kye plays a gorgeous style of soft, atmospheric indie pop perfect for relaxation and meditation.

Gentle synths and drums mostly drive Kye Kye’s music, although acoustic guitars do come into play on tracks like “Rooftops” and “Peace Song.” Spot on production by Eric Owyoung of Future of Forestry greatly adds to the intimate, organic mood of Young Love that bears much resemblance to Future of Forestry’s own debut Twilight. Most of the songs, especially in the heart of the album, are gentler tracks, but great variation keeps things moving perfectly. “Walking This” is a clear highlight in the center of the tracklisting, a dramatic building track that brings to mind Jonsi’s “Grow Till Tall.” The most obvious single candidates come at the beginning and end of the album with “Broke,” “Introduce Myself,” and “My Sight.” Of these “My Sight” is the strongest with it catchy synth riff and epic drum climax highlighted by Yagolnikov’s incredibly strong vocals. There is no noticeable lull on Young Love and although not every track is a highlight it is an immensely satisfying listen through and through.

All in all, Young Love is one of the stronger debuts of the year and it is flying criminally under the radar. It manages to avoid the trap of most gentle forest-y indie pop by quite simply not being boring. It has definite replay value in any mood. Kye Kye sweetly grows on you; it’s gentle enough to fade into the background when you need it to but clearly dynamic enough to stand out amongst its peers. Hopefully these guys have a bright career ahead of them; they have already accomplished a ton with this debut and Young Love deserves to be on a number of 2011 lists. - Sputnik Music


When Kye Kye announced a remix album of their debut Young Love, I was, admittedly, pretty excited. I first heard this Camas, Washington-based quartet at Cornerstone Festival in 2011. And I must say, I was blown away from the first note. Even more than the music, I was ecstatic to be hearing lyrics so beautifully taken from Scripture. Kye Kye has done a brilliant job pushing their ambient-electronic sound to new heights with these remixes. Simply put, The Young Love Remix EP is wonderfully irresistible.
The album kicks off with a remixed version of “Broke.” No time is wasted setting a mellow atmosphere, something that never really leaves throughout the record – it’s only built upon. Nothing here from the original track is sacred. Singer Olga Yagolnikov’s vocals are pulled back and forth between octaves all over the audible range. When the song breaks in to it’s climax, a catchy arpeggiated synth carries the song with a very tasteful beat.
That same mellow atmosphere comes back immediately for the next track, “Introduce Myself.” Once again, vocals are totally dismantled for the sake of the remix – in this case it gives the listener a hook that sticks. In fact, I find myself just waiting for it to come back more often. Beautifully painted imagery abounds, referring to the way God is revealed throughout scripture: “you’re a soft drum I hear, I can’t wait” (1 Kings 12-13). The scaled back verses lend a silky electric piano driving the more minimal sound to accentuate the lyrics. Just when you think the song is done, R&B-esque sounds drive it back in to that brilliant chorus.
I hear some obvious U2 influences in all of Kye Kye’s music. But it’s never more apparent than in the remix “Walking This.” I’m a sucker for a dotted-eighth delay – which Kye Kye uses here perfectly. But this song has an unexpected darker turn. When you expect a major chord, you’re given a minor. Sixteenth note strings drive the song to a sudden end, setting up what I feel is the best song on the EP.
“Knowing This” is an all-around stunning song – lyrically and musically. As Yagolnikov softly sings “Dearest you’ve painted me, what was I waiting for? The colors are all I see . . . You never lost me, Love,” the lyrics are purely of redemption (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 2:10). The metaphor of colors run in to the music as well. The song is the most upbeat on the record. Once again, the vocals are played with so tastefully – in this case harmonies and doubled vocals splash more and more color on the canvas.
The remix is an art form in itself. I find myself ignoring remixes as a whole due to their general lack of genuine creativity from the original work. But Kye Kye doesn’t fall in to that category whatsoever. Each of the six songs has been deconstructed, and tastefully put back together, accentuating the paint on the lyrical canvas therein. The end result is a moving, progressive take on 6 incredible songs. - Blue Indian


Discography

Fantasize (2013)
Young Love Remix (2012)
Young Love (2011)

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Bio

Kye Kye consists of Estonian-born siblings Olga, Timothy, Alex and brother-in-law Thomas. Fronted by Olga's enchanting, wispy vocals, the atmospheric, indie quartet couples intricate lyrics with raw, electronic instrumentation. Kye Kye’s influences range from the organic likes of Sigur Rós, Death Cab for Cutie, and Coldplay, to the electronic sounds artists like M83.

Their 2011 debut album "Young Love," produced by by Eric Owyoung of Future of Forestry, was met with unforeseen and widespread acceptance, garnering an immediately devout fan base. Kye Kye's music has been featured in MTV's "Awkward," Samsung Galaxy SIII, SquareSpace and Jawbone JAMBOX commercials, and the upcoming feature film "Renee," starring Kat Dennings. Amidst fans’ growing anticipation, Kye Kye has been working with Producer Chad Howat (Paper Route, Brooke Waggoner) and Grammy award-winning mixing engineer Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer, The Fray, Paul McCartney) on their sophomore LP set for release in fall 2013.