“Art is awe, art is mystery expressed,” writes Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. “Art is somatic, even if it is experienced cerebrally. It is felt.” The central mysteries of Smith’s ninth studio album, Let’s Turn it Into Sound, have to do with perception, expression, and communication: How can we communicate when spoken language is inadequate? How do we understand what it is we’re feeling? How do we translate our experience of the world into something that someone else can understand?
Smith has never fit neatly into the ambient genre conversation she’s most often associated with, and here she forges even further outside of it, traversing avant-garde pop, neoclassical, and the otherwise unclassifiable. The result is a playful, inquisitive, excitable work which appeals to us as social, sensitive animals, and invites listeners into a wholly idiosyncratic world that is both experimental, and, feels like the most human thing in the world. Proceeding through Let’s Turn it Into Sound is like peeking into a secret realm: one that delights both in the discovery of the magic hidden in the everyday, and the shimmer that lingers long after the portal itself shuts.
On a variety of songs KUOKO proves that she moves comfortably through her own soundscapes. Her single Perfect Girl is brimming with drive and built-up energy that is eager to be released on dance floors, transporting the songs' clear message that she will “never be the perfect girl that you want me to be.” – tackling society’s expectations of women. Her debut record combines personal narratives with political messages and is an accumulation of what KUOKO stands for.
Tuesday, May 2
Doors: 7 pm / Start: 8 pm