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  • Andy Mockbee


For writer and producer, KAYKO, memory is the driving force behind his pop/rock storytelling. "Michigan," his latest single, hinges the experience of seeing his ex find someone new on the memory of their vacation to meet her family in the midwestern state. The first verse simmers along with looping, processed claps, shimmering guitar, and restrained bass. The hard edges drop away in the pre-chorus, a moment of sheer vulnerability in sound and vocal delivery. KAYKO's sweet falsetto casts out the dark shadows of "Michigan," before the chorus shuts the lights out entirely. Layers of vocoder and thumps of electronic kick flash in the hazy production like strobe lights. The effect is a mercurial pop track that remains clear-eyed in each unique phase. The complex web of emotional reactions blend and blur without muddying the sound. KAYKO has always been an immaculate producer with polish and distinction, but "Michigan" is his most accomplished feat.

"Michigan" charts a relatable experience to many who've been in committed relationships: seeing your ex move onto someone new. The single is at its best when KAYKO leans into specificity, such as asking about his ex's family. Reminiscing on meeting her younger cousins, he asks "have they moved on yet or do they ask about me?" The Nashville artist effectively conveys a soreness without relying on the immediacy of reactive rage. "Did he flood the kitchen accidentally when he showered?" The question is the song's most powerful lyric. It's the kind of detail with emotional depth and rich storytelling. It understands the complexities of personal memories shared in a relationship. "Why did you have to ruin Michigan?" "Michigan" isn't just about moving on, it's about rewriting memories and experiences that felts uniquely shared.

Nashville-based writer and producer, KAYKO began sharing his alt-pop sound in 2021. His debut single, "Time Of Your Life," brought immediate interest and attention to his solo career. A year later, KAYKO released his debut album, Your Best Friend's Favorite Band. Cumulatively, the independent artist has garnered over one million streams (and over ten million streams for writing credits). Since the release of his first album, KAYKO has only turned up the heat on his career. "Michigan" is the eighth single released by the Nashville producer this year. KAYKO states that this single is his new favorite that he has released.

Written By Andy M.



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