Melbourne electro-pop duo KLLO are back, but not as you know them. After a world tour following the success of a couple of strong EPs, Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam have grown both personally and as musicians. This period of independence has shaped their music, as these new singles from their upcoming album sound like nothing we've heard before. On their new single 'Downfall' it's most obvious, as the subdued future pop we know them for is replaced with energised, dance-inspired warmth.
The production takes cues from 2-step and UK garage, with a jittery hats pattern pushing the track along from the start. This beat sets up a syncopated ebbing bass, all creating a perfect cushion for the airy vocal line. Lam has really advanced his craft, incorporating repeated vocal samples and swirling synths which really lets Kaul's contributions shine alongside. Her vocals feel more refined, delivering an assuredness and subtlety through her delivery and lyricism.
'Downfall' was the last song written for the album and is a kind of catharsis for the duo. They wrote it in Croatia and explained, "We were in a good space, reflecting on everything we'd gone through, but also how much we'd grown through making Backwater. It's a reminder to not get too caught up in your head, to not dwell on the negative things."
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Of what they've released, Backwater is set to be Kllo's most fully realised project to date. With 'Downfall', the duo have raised their own bar, navigating half tempo 2-step beats and exploring intoxicating soundscapes.
Kllo's 12 track album Backwater will be out via Ghostly International Records, Caroline Australia/Good Manners Records and Different Recordings, on October 20th and is available for preorder now. You can catch them following their dates in Europe in your city in late December on their Australian tour.
8/12 - Sydney, Oxford Arts Factory
9/12 - Perth, Jack Rabbit Slim’s
14/12 - Brisbane, Woolly Mammoth
15/12 - Melbourne, Corner Hotel
16/12 - Adelaide, Fat Controller
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL