Review Summary: Whilst ebbing and flowing between subtle beats and pulses, and gallivanting around piano tunes and lush vocal melodies, Kyte takes you to a place of musical comfort and contentment with their newest effort, “Dead Waves”
You would be hard pressed to call Kyte, and their most recent effort Dead Waves
. I mean, sure they’ve got everything a person needs to spout on about “intrinsic radiance” and “glorious sounds,” and other forced, hyperbolic phrases, but there is just something about them, something deeply seeded in their core that keeps “beauty” from being truly applicable. They’re sound is light, airy, and dulcet, but nothing they have created has ever been able to sweep one off of their feet with sheer gorgeousness. This is where the distinction between “beauty” and “pretty” must be made, for although Dead Waves
isn’t downright beautiful, it sure is pretty.
And oh how pretty it is.
The Leicestershire quartet have been around a few years, picking up steam, and a moderate following, but never have they really solidified their place in any particular scene
. While it’s easy to pass them off as a post-rock bauble, the blatant electronic influences are nigh impossible to ignore. Added to that, the band has constantly been likened to many pop and shoe gaze groups, as they’ve slowly been displaying these influences since their inception. Somewhere in this limbo, this cavalcade of genres, lies the space that Kyte occupies, the sound prevalent on Dead Waves
. It has the soundscaping of a post-rock , the atmospheric textures of electronica, and the vocal melodies and song structure of modern day pop. Thankfully, all of this converges into one of the most refreshing sounds the band has ever had.
Kyte have really scaled back their post-rock influences, instead opting for a more poppy/shoe gaze-y sound. Dead Waves
benefits from this because of the wonderful atmosphere that is created, and the heavier usage of vocals. With his light tenor vocals, Nick Moon softly sings, only adding to the already rapturously calming tone of the album. He’s featured extensively throughout, with each track being given a hefty dose of his contribution. The subtle “bleeps” and “bloops” dance about, swirled together by whispered piano and guitar. Once again, it is oh so pretty.
Instead of large, sweeping tracks, Dead Waves
is filled with twelve low-key pop tunes of adequate length. Each track flows nicely into the next, and each track fits just as it should in the grand scheme of things. However, this is where Kyte kind of falter a bit. There aren’t any risks taken, therefore nothing really exceptional is gained. They never really break out of their “pretty niche,” remaining stuck in neutral for a large part of the album. Everything is of nice length, nice tempo, and nice dynamic level, making everything just too damn nice
. It’s reassuring that the album is relatively consistent, but Kyte stay far too confined in the “pretty” little electro-pop box, making it somewhat aggravatingly underdone.
Regardless of it’s simplicity, there’s no denying that Dead Waves
is just a joy to listen to. It’s relaxing, comforting, and a clear indicator that Kyte are willing to expand their sound into other territories. Take it as a flimsy novelty, or a fantastic excursion, either way, Dead Waves
is an outright enjoyable outing from an incredibly promising act.