Gig Review: Kyan: Sebright Arms: 29th November 2018

‘It increasingly sounded as though we were witnessing the birth of a star.’

Gig Review
After the perfect combination of dreamy and powerhouse tracks from Wyldest in the opening set of November’s Good Karma Club, the rest of the night could only go one of two ways: further, power-filled musicality or a set equally musical but completely contrasting. As it turned out, before Kyan even played a note, we knew it was to showcase the latter.

Resetting the stage from Wyldest’s set, the instrumentation couldn’t have been more different. Enter no less than 2 synths, a midi controller, a violin, a laptop and vocals. It was indeed a set up that seemed to grow by the second. Oh and did I point out Kyan consists of only two musicians? While the amount of instruments on display, and the attention to detail was impressive to say the least, I couldn’t help noticing the sense of fun and coolness that seemed to ooze out. The big question was, how – if at all – would this transfer to the tracks?

With in ear monitors placed and violin tuned, Kyan signalled for the soulful background music to cease, welcomed us and stated that this would be a set full of tracks from his up coming album. We hadn’t heard anything yet, but it felt like we would have bought the album right there and then and thankfully from the moment the set started, our minds never changed.

In someways expected, given the style of the interlude tracks, the opening track of Kyan’s set Nothing Beyond showcased the sublime beauty and soul within his voice. Literally oozing coolness, it was totally captivating and set to an ever-evolving Jack Garrett-esque accompaniment formed of overlaying multiple live elements with pre-recorded ones, it ticked every box. Indeed it seemed like the sets peak had been reached within the opening track. But of course there was more, so much more to come.

Leading with a beautifully mid-tempo, jazz inspired keyboard line, Kyan’s second track Wire on the Fences saw the atmosphere shift to one that felt, and sounded, like the start of something very special. Growing throughout – and from seemingly nowhere – it drowned you in spine tingling moments from beginning to end. It went places you didn’t expect. It took you to places you didn’t know you were heading and with a chorus centred around the lyrics of ‘these are dark, dark times’ you couldn’t help but feel involved in the anthemic nature of the track.

Having spoken little between the opening two tracks, Kyan gave a full on intro to the third – his current single Lonely River. Showing his real personality, the shameless plug to the video being out Wednesday was contrasted with a wonderfully underplayed mention of the acoustic version being recorded at Abbey Road! It was an introduction that promised the world and transitioning through countless cinematic moments, we listened in awe.

Moving into the second half of the set, it increasingly sounded as though we were witnessing the birth of a star. Where Lonely River had built continually to a dramatic, evocative and impassioned finale, the fourth track of the set, Like Summer provided the perfect balance of power and relaxed soul. Released earlier this year as a single, it forms the closing track of Kyan’s forthcoming album and sounding like an instant hit, there’s no doubting the success it will continue to have.

With so much emotion riding high throughout, contrast – but equal emotion – appeared in the penultimate track of the set. Giving us an experience much different to the rest, this more stripped back track seemed truly heart-felt and in demonstrating his sublime leaps from chest to falsetto once more, we were completely drawn in. However, while this contrast was most welcomed, the closing track, Moonrise with its heavy bass, ever-evolving textures and powerful, yet restrained vocal made for a finish that was as incredible as it was memorable.

Follow Kyan on: Facebook and Twitter
Listen to Kyan on: Spotify
Find out about the other featured artists at:  Gig Review: Wyldest: Sebright Arms: 29th November 2018 and Gig Review: Lauran Hibberd: Sebright Arms: 29th November 2018

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