Klo // Cusp
These days, anyone with mediocre IT proficiency, an inflated ego and a drought of originality can rustle up a carbon copy of Disclosure in less than the average time it takes a Londoner to get to work in the morning. It’s a slightly uninspiring reality that makes it even the more exciting when a duo of genuine depth and talent like Klo pops up.
Cusp, their recently released EP on Year One Recordings (also home to Ekkah) is the perfect proof of that depth; from the shuffling dancefloor kinetics of ‘Under Lie’ to ‘Make Me Wonder’s stuttering R&B wash and the menacing throb of ‘False Calls’, everything here seems impossible faultless for a duo who only formed this year.
Hailing from Melbourne, the duo is made up of cousins Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul, with Lam on production and Kaul providing evocative vocals. And though one of Cusp’s strengths is that diversity across the EP, they’ve also got a bona fide dancefloor fixture in ‘Under Lie’. You wouldn’t guess it from the reverential hum of an organ and the shuffling beat that introduces the track, but as Kaul’s vocals gradually lose their restraint, so Lam’s production accelerates.
It ends up coming on like a slab of propulsive pining that feels purpose built for those early hours of the morning when you’ve sobered up just enough to be able to feel actual human emotions and you’re hit by a freight train of existential angst. What does it say about me that I’ll pay £5 for a can of Red Stripe? Why am I surrounded by wankers with snapbacks and Schwarzenegger’s biceps circa 1972? Pretty sure my ex-ex-ex would appreciate a passive aggressive voicemail. If Interstellar was really based on a true story, then…? We’ve all been there. Here’s betting that ‘Under Lie’ will make it seem far, far more bearable.
The rest of the EP sees them descend into resonant waters more akin to SOHN, though, with ‘False Call’s creeping wall of synths and the dreamy melancholia of ‘Make Me Wonder’. Things are also taken a step closer to Jessie Ware’s patch with the garage/2-step of ‘Take Us To The Grave’, which in my book is only be a good thing. Regardless, you’ve got to admire their bravery in taking off in four different musical directions at once, eschewing the age old tactic of throwing four radio friendly tracks at the wall, and hoping one sticks. In other words, in an age of carbon copies, some individual thinking like this really sticks out – here’s hoping we’re going to hear a lot more from Klo in 2015.