Kloyd’s debut EP provides space for ‘Reflections’

This time of the year we cannot help but find ourselves reflecting on the months gone by. However, the unanticipated trajectory of 2020 means it is only natural that we are finding it a little hard to articulate just how much our lives have changed. But fear not, electronic producer and composer Kloyd, the musical alias of Kate Lloyd, has saved us the trouble by taking the contents of “this strange year we’ve all faced” and neatly compiling the chaos into her debut EP, ‘Reflections’.  

Featuring mixes from Catching Flies and stunning vocals from Jaclynne Marie Smith, ‘Reflections’ is a compact culmination of everything this year has thrown at us. The opening track ‘Muted’ is far from what its title implies, with looped vocals layered over soulful piano enveloping you as the pacey percussion lulls you into a trance. Around three minutes in we’re submerged in silence, retrieved from the quiet by the words “muted tones of yourself” sung in an almost haunting fashion. Perhaps these words are an ode to the way we have had to quell the liveliness of our quotidian routines, how months of monotony have turned us into muted versions of our usual vibrant selves. However, this EP is here to inject some spirit back into your life and keep you busy while you dream of social liberation. 

The title of track two, ‘Keep Coming Back’ foreshadows how the lyrics are sung in loop, returning us back to the same moment and reminiscent of that groundhog week feeling that’s been lingering since March. The imploring tone of the vocals soft against the melodic xylophone gives us a taste of the expert way Kloyd plays with pitch, melding vocals with synths and musical amalgamations. However, her production skill truly comes to fruition in ‘Apex’. The playfulness draws you in, the understated base rhythm leaving room for the almost string-like sonics to stand centre stage in the arrangement. 

Just like a conductor guiding our listening experience, in ‘The Player’ Kloyd returns us to the tone of the first two tracks through looped vocals and gradual audial layering. The familiarity this evokes showcases her trademark style and makes it feel like she is conversing with us throughout the EP. The ambient ending of ‘The Player’ leads us into ‘There’s Only You’. The first ten seconds almost sound like a sample of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ being played underwater, that is until the staccato bass beat quite literally crashes like a wave into the forefront. The combination of keys and vocals marry beautifully. However just like a marriage the two are intermittently on the edge of conflict, not quite blending together in the way you’re inclined to want.

The conclusive track ‘Seraph’, referencing a celestial being, definitely emits an otherworldly sound, the ambient melody evoking an almost spiritual soundscape. The way the track builds entices you to dive deeper and deeper into Kloyd’s musical melting pot of vocals, synth and keys. The way this year has gone, I think an extra-terrestrial debut is the only natural conclusion. And if this comes to light, then Kloyd has truly sculpted the ideal track to pair with the event. 

This contemplative EP can either soundtrack your personal reflections or transport you away from your own thoughts entirely; the ambiguous themes of love and loss in their every manifestation waiting for you to interpret them as you please. ‘Reflections’ is just a taste of Kloyd’s potential, and testament to her ability to condense a plethora of emotions into twenty-five minutes of sonic solace.