KALEN has a connection to moody Electronic-Pop that's as complex as any romance. The flawless vibe dripping from her second EP, 'Fallen From The Sun,' is a lesser reflection of the New York City native's addicting songwriting capabilities—swaying ballads, cheeky lyrics, and distinctively textured vocals—and her echoes of early-'80s productions also opens her music up in a more sonically provocative context.
On "Honeysucker," a luxurious single from her upcoming myriad of juicy 2020 singles, KALEN struggles over the strong sentiments that happen within the exoskeleton of a love-struck mindset.
The connecting points here are reminiscent of the contemporary textures of today's most celebrated singers like Kate Bush and The Yeah Yeah Yeah's or even as profound as some of the best selections of Fionna Apple. Still, KALEN remains less overtly partisan than the latter, while still managing to draw her line in the sand, distinguishing herself under an ultimately unique sonic profile.
"Honeysucker" is a sultry ballad, with a dancey orchestration dedicated to driving the music forward. Her enamoring vocals swell to a supple falsetto reminiscent of Naomi "Nai Palm" Saalfield—who has been mentioned as a significant influence to the NYC songwriter—during the chorus's hook. "Your words are sweet, they are sweet like honey," KALEN blossoms as the words leave her lips; these are lyrics that belong to no specific genre, but certainly feel appropriate for these sorts of sonic supplements. Here, she lets herself down gently: "I'm hearing what I wanna hear, hearing what I wanna hear, Honeysucker!" Subtle in its delivery yet landing anthem-like, it never strays far from its original musical theme. Still, KALEN flourishes on through whimsical harmonies and magnetic hooks, exposing a myriad of sensations with each note her vocals approach. Like its catchy title, Honeysucker is as alluring as it is striking.
How do you think your sound has developed and evolved since your last Extended Play in 2012?
Well, since the Fallen From The Sun EP, I've played with increasingly electronic production. I sought out Eric Zeiler as a producer in part because of this aesthetic.
What has been the most memorable experience to come out of the writing and production process for Honeysucker?
Most surprising was that Eric dropped this blues bassline that I had that was part of the cornerstone for the piece. Somehow he transmuted that vibe into something fresher. I never felt that he erased it, but rather that he evolved it and brought it up to modern times.
What stands out as the longest-lasting and most consistent influence you've pulled from for the continuous development of your own character and sound?
I like the question but have no idea how to answer it. Simply put, just spending time with the process.
Have there been any lingering emotions or sentiments on your conscious that you've been meaning to make into a song? And is there any chance of experiencing these effects in your up and coming releases?
Love. Not unrequited love or disappointing love or riddled with complication love, but expansive love. And, yes, it has a place in some songs, some of which have been recorded and will see the light of day...or rather the velvet cover of night.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
My daughter, who was born in late March. Peoples' ability to adapt.