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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "On The Rocks" - Kayls

Have you ever thought about something from the past, and cringe at how you behaved or reacted? I do, all the time. Especially with past connections and relationships. I think about how I fawned over people that maybe shouldn’t have been given the time of day. Or how I poured compassion and understanding into someone that left a multitude of signals that they did not have the emotional capacity to return it. And throughout it all, I ignored my intuition when it was sounding off the alarms for these different situations. “On The Rocks” by Kayls effectively demonstrates how one’s intuition knows a relationship is lousy before the heart does.

“On The Rocks” is a Pop-Rock single celebrating the end of an unsavory romantic relationship. Within the song, listeners get insight into Kayls previous relationship as she recounts details that led to its eventual demise. The single starts with punctuated bass plucking that immediately catches your attention before Kayls redirects it to the opening verses. The verses detail how the partner’s presence drained them of their energy while simultaneously being mildly insulting. The pre-chorus then abruptly cuts in to prepare us for the chorus; it also serves as the artist’s emotional awareness. In hindsight they realize the former partner never fulfilled their needs or truly complimented their lifestyle, even remarking “You’re bitterness, and I’m too sweet”. The guitar’s slow melody accompanied by the chiming of the cymbals that surround the chorus gives me chills and scratches an instrumental arrangement itch I didn’t know I had. Listeners also get an interesting statement here: “Something is off / Need a detox”. It encapsulates how a tumultuous relationship of this nature can make one feel physically ill. This is our intuition sounding off the alarms, and we need to pay attention. And it’s not until we free ourselves from it do we feel an ounce of normalcy and wellness, which is echoed throughout the rest of the song. I really want to take a moment to praise Kayls vocal phrasing, though; her lyrical delivery flawlessly aligns with the rhythm and provides listeners with a matter-of-factness attitude while still being able to convey the emotional ups and downs of a turbulent relationship. It’s just perfect – chef’s kiss.

The west coast-based singer and songwriter, Kayls, was introduced to creating music by her grandfather. The two would spend afternoons making music together on a vintage multitrack recorder. These early beginnings would lead the artist on an experimental journey with music where they collaborated with producer Bambor Leany and the indie-pop group BRÅVES. Now her transformative sound incorporates the uniqueness of those afternoons with her grandfather, rich lyrical poetry that doubles as emotive storytelling, and frequent collaborator Ethan Kaufman’s guitar strings and synths. But the artistry doesn’t end there with KAYLS; to celebrate the release of “On the Rocks” she dropped jasmine soaking salts aptly titled On The Rocks. She also offers the cutest line of silk bérets made out of luxury deadstock fabric through her store, LÉONIE. If you've enjoyed KAYLS as much as I have, show them some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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