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Death By Piano Enriches The Darkwave Space With New EP, 'VOW'

Photo by: Michelle LoBianco

Capturing listeners in tales of love, loss, and betrayal is Death By Piano, led by Brooklyn-based singer-producer KALEN, with an extremely powerful 6-track EP titled VOW.

If you're a fan of electronic darkwave, you're in luck. KALEN has been a force in the industry for over two decades, blending soul, funk, electronica, and theatrics with captivating visuals to provide a powerful cinematic experience. She's never one to shy away from heavy themes, offering compelling narratives around the female experience and more.

In her latest EP, VOW, Death By Piano locks us into 6 captivating tracks made in collaboration between KALEN and Tom Marsh (Lana Del Rey), not to mention visuals by Robert Lester. With stories of commitment, grief, and loss alongside soaring synths and massive beats, Death By Piano offers an immersive experience like no other.

The intro and title track, "VOW," softly opens with melancholy guitar strings alongside sweet drums and snares, paving the way for KALEN's radiant vocals. While expressing the trials and tribulations of past love and reflecting on its impact, Death By Piano vibrates our speakers with pounding bass to make the experience even more palpable. It's a powerful opener that sets the tone for more of KALEN's compelling narratives.

In track two, "Trust," we dive into a mystical electronic world with crunchy drums and sci-fi synths alongside KALEN's sweet vocals. This sonic atmosphere is equally dark yet alluring, transporting the listener beyond this realm and into one of profound reflection, similar to the depth of KALEN's honest, raw lyrics. It's a captivating mid-tempo tune that perfectly portrays themes of betrayal and reflecting on what went wrong.

In the EP's stimulating third track, "Too Soon," we're met with light snares and thick kicks alongside fluttery, vibrant synths that dance in the background alongside KALEN's soothing vocals. This time around, she expands on the bittersweet nature of 'goodbye,' setting the scene with vivid imagery while wishing for this person to stay around a bit longer. It's a deeply relatable experience that anyone can find a piece of themselves in.

Onto the EP's second half with track four, "Disco Wrecking Ball," we're transported into a deep, dark listening experience with reverbed electric guitar picking and hazy drums alongside KALEN's gentle vocals. While expressing the destructive nature of someone's actions and their severe impact on those closest to them, KALEN tears a piece from her diary to give us one of the most powerful and sonically-dense songs on the project.

Continuing our journey through the project with track five, "Pandora," Death By Piano brings us deep into a stimulating darkwave atmosphere while KALEN blesses us with her vibrant vocals and serene storytelling lyrics. The sonic production is pristine, transporting listeners into new dimensions of sound, while KALEN adds to the experience with her otherwordly lyrics and vocals, painting all sorts of images in the listener's mind.

Landing on the EP's sixth and final track, "Promise," we're greeted with aching strings that play a melancholy melody alongside tender pianos and distant drums. As KALEN's breathy vocals enter the space, she sings a song of hope, one that reminds listeners that our wreckage does not define us. There's always another day worth waking for, and although life has its challenges, Death By Piano reminds us just how valuable this life really is.

If you're in search of a powerful listening experience that transports you through all sorts of feelings, experiences, and emotions, hit play on Death By Piano's new 6-track EP, VOW, now available on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome to Buzz, Death By Piano! We loved “Vow,” and we just had to ask what the inspiration behind such a unique release was!

The birth of my first child, looking out for oneself in this life, a deep betrayal and righteous rage, almost losing my father and coming to terms with my parent's mortality, the ongoing work it takes to be true to a partner and oneself, and seeing the myth of Pandora through a modern, feminist lens. 

What was the hardest part of your music journey when you were starting out?

It's just as hard now as when I was starting out—maybe harder. I'm a mom with a family, and I despise self-promotion and social media. It's a hustle to get heard. One has to love doing it regardless and keep looking for the magic. 

What does music mean to you, and what advice would you give any aspiring musicians out there right now?

Music is the way I process myself, the world, and myself navigating the world. To "aspiring" musicians: You're not aspiring if you're making music—you are a musician. Just keep creating, mining for inspiration, working on craft, and finding great collaborators. 

If your audience could take on thing away from your music, what would you want it to be?

Feel your feelings. 

What’s next for Death By Piano? Is there anything you want to say to your fans?

The live experience is becoming such an important part of the presentation. I hope you all can come to shows, and -- if not -- check out some recent live footage in addition to listening to the tracks.


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