Late last year saw KYANOS’ debut EP release Elevator To Japan – a body of work so short yet so satisfying – showcasing the potential of the new band. Consisting of four songs, the EP feels like it is built mostly around the second track ‘Thunder In Japan’ which highlights everything about smooth, lo-fi psychedelic and jazz, musically referring to bands like The Doors and Homeshake for direct inspiration. KYANOS harbour inspiration from these bands but take the chilled vibe to a new level, almost making you forget where you are. Making you lose all conceptions of the genres they aim for. Elevator To Japan is cleverly recorded with crisp and reverby electric guitars, bathed in washy, ghostly synths and jittered with elevator and soft rainy thunder sounds, and female Japanese vocal samples (say hello to the EP’s name). Not only did the band receive the success it deserved with the EP, but it caught the attention of NME.
Most interestingly, the entire EP was recorded on their iPhones.
For artistic reasons? To challenge themselves? A lack of equipment? The real reason being they initially recorded the first ‘Thunder In Japan’ demo on their phones so that they wouldn’t forget. Listening back to the track, however, they ended up enjoying how it sounded. “We liked the natural, lo-fi sound the recording made, whilst still sounding pretty cool and crisp. It was a couple of days after that we met up and recorded the rest of the EP live; and other than the synth solo in Lift we played everything together as if we were just jamming”.
KYANOS is: Sam Golding on Lead Vocals, Guitar and Synth, Seth Bauly on Lead Guitar, Fintan Wightman on Bass and Zach Franklin on Drums.
How long have you all been playing together? What inspired you all to want to make music?
We all went to school together at one time or another, and we’d been in a band called The Folly, playing kinda crappy Arctic Monkeys covers and other indie rock songs, then I think we’d all started to get really into Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco and all that, and it all fell into place really. We started writing and recording our own material and eventually put out our first demo ‘BAJA‘ on Soundcloud in October 2016 I think it was. Shortly after that our boy Zach came in on the drums and it was then that we evolved into our final formation!
What does KYANOS mean?
‘Kyanos’ is the Greek word for ‘deep blue’ and is a derivation from the name of the stone Kyanite. We picked up a dictionary on New Year’s day a couple years ago and the first word we saw was kyanite, which we thought well reflected the more jazzy and psychedelic songs we had started to write.
You recently announced you are working on a debut album to be released this year. Will it be reminiscent of the 2017 EP hit Elevator To Japan, or are KYANOS seeking out a new direction in style?
I think as we were writing Elevator to Japan, specifically the main track ‘Thunder in Japan’, we’d started to really understand and develop our own sound, but we take influence from so many different things that our ideas are always evolving and changing. We haven’t been recording on our phones this time either, which has most probably had an effect on the approach we’ve taken when writing and recording the new tunes.
What is your music making process?
Quite often a chord progression, riff or bass line might arise during a jam and we’ll all just kinda come up with ideas collectively. We had tended to focus on the music first before the lyrics which came after to fit the melody, however for some of the most recent tunes the lyrics have been written to coincide with the music a bit more, which has probably ended up giving the songs a slightly different feel to what we’ve written previously.
What about the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Does one of you focus on this aspect or do you all play a part?
We are all involved. It’s not so much one of us writing something and everyone else being told what to do, but an idea coming out of somewhere before we all contribute and get the rest of the song finished. Our latest single ‘So High’ is a perfect example, the song was a product of all of our collective ideas. Taking a group approach to writing helps the clarity of the song and the ideas we want to achieve, as well as giving it that proper KYANOS sound.
What are KYANOS’ goals for 2018?
We’re currently coming towards the end of writing the final couple of songs for our debut album, Lost in Blue, and have been working on recording the tracks pretty consistently since about October last year. We’re also hoping to play as many gigs as possible to follow the release, as well as take part in the BurySound 2018 Final at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on March 9th.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
We’re playing at the BurySound final at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday 9th March (tickets), and at The Hunter Club with our psychedelic buddies Sun Scream and F.O.X. as part of the Bury Fringe Festival on April 7th (tickets). As we’re working on the debut album at the moment we’ve been spending a lot of our time writing and recording, but as the album slowly gets into the final stages of production we will be announcing more live shows hopefully all over the place! We’ve played some great gigs at The Hunter Club in our hometown Bury St Edmunds where we’ve had a lot of great support!
Do you have any other planned releases?
Nothing is confirmed as of yet because we want to keep our focus on making the album as good as we can, however we were talking about maybe a couple singles or something being done when the album is all finished and put out for everyone to hear. But that all depends on how the album goes and the direction we feel our sound is heading. We’ve definitely got things we want to do, and have a great producer who is interested in working with us, which could lead to some really interesting music being made.
KYANOS’ new song So High, is a bold, dreamy conglomerate of their influences, painted in a new direction, and is now out on all platforms.