London artist, Kaysien, has just released their latest single, Portals, and we’ve been thrilled to be given the opportunity for several listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Portals is, in Kaysien’s words, “a feeling of defiant energy, playful belligerence and a sense of respect for life in this track. Mental Health & inner strength is at it’s core.” It sure is!
Portals has a real funk/contemporary soul feel to it. With interesting rhythms and an extremely tight sound, this song has all the makings of a fabulous retro feeling hit. We made a note on our first listen that the band were extremely tight. On reading the bio afterwards, we learn that Kaysien is just one person. The whole track written, recorded and produced by the same person. Now that’s some real talent, right there!
This is a real head nodder. It reminded us in several places of Stevie Wonder – especially in the style of the synth solo. It has an early 70s feel about it where so many songs were obsessed with space; Life on Mars, Rocket Man, etc. It just feels like it could slot in comfortably on an early 70s funk playlist without anyone even considering it may be new material. There’s something about Portals that feels timeless.
The “band” is super-tight – especially the rhythm section, and the addition in places of a shaker adds some lovely top end to the track. All of us were seriously nodding our heads throughout this song.
Portals has some wonderful use of effects and just an amazing full sound. We were really happy to hear this track today.
From a production perspective, a small but wide boost centred around 7kHz would bring out some of the clarity and detail in the synth sounds and effects as well as adding some overall brightness to the track. We tried a small notch out at around 75Hz and that seemed to make the kick feel more ‘thumpy’!
Portals is a unique and sublimely timeless feeling track that holds an important message. Kaysien’s work was new to us today, but with such intuitive writing and meaningful lyrics, we’ll be watching out for more. Great stuff!