Dream-like and vibrant: A Review of KAWALA’s Better With You

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KAWALA display a uniquely interdisciplinary sound in their new album.

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KAWALA emerge on to the music scene with a bang, following the recent release of their brilliantly bold sixteen-piece debut album Better With You. The new album comes out after success of hit singles ‘Pure Desire’ and ‘Ticket To Ride’, the latter of which being featured in FIFA 21.

Having established a community-based fanbase in the United Kingdom through the release of several acclaimed EPs and successful shows, fans  have highly anticipated the release of Better With You since they became active on the music scene five years ago. Despite having such foregoing high hopes and expectations, the album is even better than imagined.

The Camden-born band embody a uniquely interdisciplinary sound, with a vibrant mixture of Indie, Pop and Folk incorporated within each and every one of their tracks. KAWALA’s distinct sound can be recognised instantly  – a feat that is made difficult in the climate of today’s increasingly blended music industry. These sentiments are no different in Better Than You, which transmits a therapeutic sense of calm through my headphones, acting as instant magic for the frequently low levels of serotonin within the soul.

It was hard to choose just a few favourites from the album, as each seems to seamlessly follow one another in grand succession, and few included tracks were of previously loved singles. However, if I had to highlight a selection of new tracks to watch out for from KAWALA, I would say ‘Back Of My Hand’; ‘Hold Back The Years’ and ‘Marathon’.

The first of those mentioned – ‘Back Of My Hand’ – offers a slow and simple melody, with an accompanying seamless blend of vocals. The narrative itself reminisces about childhood memories, which stay with you through adulthood and ultimately in life. I see it almost as a humble ode to the roots of their hometowns. ‘Hold Back The Years’ begins with a soft drum beat that is further drawn in and out of the track as it progresses. I really like how the melody changes towards the end of the chorus and leads into an Indie instrumental, which only draws upon further excitement for the remainder of the song. Finally, ‘Marathon’ embodies how I feel about my own life; trying to keep up with the forever-moving substance of time, and struggling with the decisions one is faced with. The beat is more dance-friendly than most of the songs from the album and I cannot wait to see festival-goers bobbing up and down with glee, once bucket hat season arrives upon us once more.

Overall, the album offers a sense of serenity for anyone who chooses to try out the new flavour of sound that is KAWALA, serving their speciality dream-like consistency and songs that leave you addicted to the musical high that always seem to be emancipated by their releases. I can only hope to get a piece of the action when they tour their new album in the near-future.

Better With You is out now via EMI / Universal Music. Listen to ‘Hypnotized’ below:

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