Written by Maria Arroyo
The duo behind Kllo brings together their two worlds on their latest LP, Maybe We Could. Kllo consists of musicians Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam. The two talked about needing a break to reconfigure their work since the creation of their next album just was not coming together. They both traveled, and released some solo works, and when they reunited, they created this record, Maybe We Could. They describe this fresh start as a “reset, giving them space to learn separately, and, ultimately, to appreciate what they have together.”
Their opening song “Cursed” is a haunting and clean-toned song. This was a great introduction to their softer sound. While many different layers bring his song to life, it didn’t feel overpowering, and they blended very nicely together.
“Still Here” showcases this interesting juxtaposition between Kaul’s soft and intimate vocals and the more rigid feel in the instrumentation. “Here is us trying to take that combination as far as we can, fusing two styles of music that we love,” says Lam. The fuse of the different elements works really well, and the melody that covers the song is so beautifully written.
The duo says that their next song “Insomnia” is actually “one of the few songs written from separate locations,” in North America. There’s a laid back R&B feel to the song that was so pleasant to hear. There’s a lot more build-up in terms of intensity, but it never felt like that tension was ever released. While I enjoyed the vibes this song was contributing, it wasn’t one that I really remembered after it was over.
“My Gemini” brings back their haunting instrumentation from the first song that I really admired. I guess as a Gemini, I had some bias for the song, but nevertheless, it was still a great and well put-together song. There’s this back and forth tension between the muffled, and almost wispy vocals that battle with the main vocals, which creates a neat contrast. I really loved the fluidity of the song and its ties to a much deeper meaning.
“Somehow” is an incredibly catchy song with a more lightened tone and timbre than the other songs on the record. Kllo says this about the song: “The apex of the album ‘Somehow’ is a swirling dance track undercut by an imbalanced relationship. Left to do the heavy-lifting, the narrator expresses her frustrations as club-ready percussion and synth lines spiral out of stasis.”
In my opinion, the most intimate of all the songs is the title track, “Maybe We Could.” It’s interesting that they make the hook of the song almost hide behind the scenes. “Maybe We Could” is repeated in the back of the vocals, almost like we’re listening to it unconsciously, and it’s always there, even if it’s not the direct focus at a certain point in time, which became the highlight of the album for me.
Their next few songs “A Mirror” and “Up” are both tunes that you can get lost in. They both have tons of layers that bring the song together, without feeling overbearing. “Up” has a dreamier and more intimate feel to it that created some more tension dynamically, which “A Mirror” lacked. There wasn’t enough change in the dynamics, so the song felt very stagnant. They were able to bring some life back into the record with their closing single, “Just Checking In,” which increased the tension and dynamic moments to create a more enjoyable listening experience.
Maybe We Could is intricately put together, bringing two people with more life experiences than what they started with, and are able to come together to create something new and special. I think their time apart really gave them some more substance to work with, while finding different things that they both wanted to incorporate into their new releases. Kllo blends different worlds together to create their new release, and I think their newfound experiences clean up their sound and creates a more fluid album.
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