Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Kid
The beating heart behind The Kid is the curiosity and delight that Smith brings to her meticulous electronic compositions
On her sixth album in five years, composer and engineer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith continues to conjure entire galaxies from 1970s synthesisers – and The Kid is perhaps her grandest project yet. The album spans a lifetime in thirteen tracks, with four clearly defined acts; Smith’s said that the intention is to explore the youthful energy inside us all, no matter our age.
Conflicting, playful threads run through single songs, and Smith teases out complexities that take multiple listens to fully grasp. Quasi-title track A Kid is rattling and choral, both spiked and and smooth. Who I Am & Why I Am Where I Am was reportedly recorded in one take, on a rare EMS Synthi 100 – there's an earthy crackling under foot, as the arpeggios soar to the heavens. Each track feels rooted and thoughtful, and Smith's layered vocals contain multitudes – choral effects expand and distort her voice, so much so that she sounds like a glorious, all-seeing higher power.
The final quarter of the record is on a cinematic scale – death, here, is a lush, transportative experience. In contrast to the single-handed, minimalist production on earlier tracks, Smith collaborated with a quartet from the orchestral collective s t a r g a z e (the artists who featured on Mica Levi's score for Under the Skin, and Bryce Dessner’s work on The Revenant). Still, the beating heart behind The Kid is the curiosity and delight that Smith brings to her meticulous electronic compositions.
Listen to: A Kid, An Intention, In The World