Over the course of the year, I hear so much music that has been meticulously pored over with a sincerity and precision that could not have been filled with much joy. I assume the payoff is always something worth celebrating, but, at least for me, the work of it makes it feel like the opposite of leisure. And just as you can hear when someone is smiling, you can frolic in the genuine delight of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s discography.
In 2015, Smith released her second or fourth LP, depending on how you classify her past records. She has what could amount to two long EPs as well as two other full lengths available for listening on her Bandcamp page, though the semantics aren’t what I’m concerned with. She’s also created a soundtrack for a short film that Reggie Watts made about Brazil’s capital Brasilia. (Her music has a vintage appeal that made it the perfect noise to complement Watts’ humorous take on the future based on the past.) Every piece of music she’s made has life, and thrives on very simplistic synth melodies. Euclid is no different, and includes some of the most sophisticated songwriting of her career.
I had a list of adjectives I wanted to use to describe this album, but they were all so boring compared to how the music actually makes me feel. It’s not just fun, it’s invigorating. It’s not pleasant or exciting, it’s the start of an adventure. Euclid has a more mature organization than her previous works, which generally were either seven plus minute epics, or were part of their own connected story, such as her previous record, Tides, comprised of ten tracks all sharing that title. The structure of the record is very straightforward, as if the tracklist were a very specific table of contents: the first six tracks are standalone jams, and the rest are “Labyrinths,” parts one through twelve. And how apt of a title; each one of the dozen songs are labyrinthine- complex and meandering. But each has its own personality, allowing them a chance to be seen as individual as well, such as V’s hopeful ascension or XI’s precarious escape.
I would imagine that Kaitlyn has a plethora of new music churning. She put out four releases in the span of thirteen months two years ago (Euclid came out in January of 2015) and had the same burst of creativity two years prior to that. I wouldn’t be surprised if what she’s been working on is another score to an ironic depiction of the future. But I also wouldn’t fault her for taking a break. Rejoice like the Sundry video, in bold colors and with a friendly dog.
TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2015
7. Euclid by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith