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  • Karlee Skipper

Review: "Fires" - KAELI

KAELI flawlessly reignites her music career after a two-year hiatus with her infectious new single, “Fires.” The electrifying track explores the feeling of undeniable chemistry with a first love and living life to the fullest—not letting anything hold you back. About the song, KAELI explains that the track is a “rallying cry against complacency.” She wrote the song with the memory of spending time at the beach with friends around a bonfire, drinking and dancing with absolutely no care in the world. She wanted “Fires” to evoke these same feelings of nostalgia and carefree wonder in her listeners. Throughout the track, her poetic lyrics paint this picture as she steps back in time to a moment in her life when everything she wanted was in front of her. She starts the song with the lyrics, “We started fires on the beach// We found a feeling we wanted forever// All of our dreaming just in reach.” This sets the stage for the remainder of the track, filled with hopeful and nostalgic lyrics. In the chorus, KAELI sings: “Driving in your car at night// Dancing out in front of your headlights// Hold your breath, get lost in the high// Pump the gas and close your eyes// Can we be starting fires?” With these lines, she effortlessly transports her audience to this late summer night scene—one with the windows down and the radio blasting. “Fires” is the perfect single to reintroduce KAELI to the music scene and to wrap up the summer season.

KAELI has a remarkable talent that effortlessly captivates audiences from the moment she begins singing. Her voice has an impeccable range and power that shines through every single one of her tracks. In “Fires,” she immediately kicks off the song with her incredible vocals singing acapella. This is quickly met by a faint, almost imperceptible, guitar in the background. As KAELI continues to sing the verse, the instrumentation subtly builds into a soothing electric guitar riff with fuzzy feedback noise. This build-up leads to a brief pause in the production that ends with the introduction of the drums and synth sound effects. When the pre-chorus hits, KALIE’s mesmerizing harmonies are heard in the background while the instruments continue to intensify before breaking into the chorus. The song maintains a steady energy until the catchy hook, “can we be starting fires,” is sung with captivating background vocals that are akin to those of a gospel choir. The production then explodes while KAELI’s powerful vocals hit phenomenal high notes that showcase her impressive range and emphasize the emotional message behind each line. This energetic, passionate production is reminiscent of iconic artists of the genre, such as Florence + The Machine and Maggie Rogers. The transition into the second verse briefly mutes the drums, before the fiery energy continues with the full production of the first verse. In the background, an additional electric guitar riff is played periodically while muffled vocals are faintly singing a separate line. When the second pre-chorus hits, the background vocals are harmonizing along with KAELI’s angelic vocals that lead to an impressive high note, signifying the explosion back into the chorus. In the bridge, she utilizes powerful vocalizations that lead the song while the choir vocals repeat the hook. This is paired with the electrifying guitar riff that guides the emotional climax of the track. The song ends with one final rendition of the hook, with the most powerful vocals of the entire track before the production mutes and KAELI closes out the song with her soft vocals singing, “we started fires on the beach”. This outro leaves listeners with chills as they are left astonished by KAELI’s remarkable talent and craving more from the gifted artist.

Kayleigh McKnight, better known as stage-name, KAELI is a pop singer-songwriter from London. She made her music debut in 2021 with her single, “Home.” After two follow-up singles, Kaeli released her debut EP, Kaleidoscope. The EP contained 5-tracks, including the three previous releases. Since then, she released one Christmas song and a collaboration with Passage T. “Fires” is her first single in years, kicking off her newest era of music. She draws inspiration from artists such as Paramore, MUNA, and Carole King. Her new sound contains a darker tone with an even darker subject matter to match, ranging from lyrics about heartbreak and nostalgia to healing from abuse. With her powerful vocals and candid lyricism, KAELI is on her way to absolute stardom. Check out her social media for upcoming releases and show dates near you!

Written By Karlee Skipper



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