Electro-pop duo Kiersten Nyman and Cameron Taylor initially met while working on another project a few years ago and came together as Chymes after realising they shared a similar writing style and love of music. Since releasing their debut EP Grow in 2016, they’ve come a long way (with their music and covers racking up over 1 million plays collectively across Spotify and Apple music) and they are now back with an intriguing and mysterious new single, ‘Shade’.
Chymes says this track is, "A romantic love song that explores the vulnerabilities [of] becoming intimate with someone’; in it, they try to capture and explain ‘that euphoric moment of falling in love and the initial fear of surrender that comes with it." The duo brings this idea to life in a fresh and unusual way, composing a minimalist, ambient track full of dreamy sounds; Nyman’s work on the lyrics is intriguing too – the words are both stark and impressionistic, delivered in a stuttering, piecemeal way. This arguably causes Nyman’s voice (usually full of rich texture and movement) to lack expressiveness at points. Despite the ethereal, shapeshifting quality of the production, Nyman's delivery does err on the side of aloofness, albeit still enchanting in the sighing nature of her singing. The way Nyman breaks up the lyrics, however, is compelling – the ways she works ‘I am falling / into / your blue’, for instance, gives the line an unexpected punchline. Perhaps this is a new sonic journey Chymes are embarking on, evoking further influences of Purity Ring in both vocal delivery and the dynamic production underpinning it all.
Taylor’s production really comes into its own towards the end of the song, gathering speed and becoming louder, injecting some much-needed energy into the track. The minimalist and somewhat clattering finale pulls the song together neatly into a satisfying ending. With such strong writing and production chops, we have every reason to believe Chymes is here to stay.
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WORDS BY CAMILLA PATINI