Premiere: Kai Whiston – Melville


Originally tipped off by Brainfeeder don Iglooghost, we’ve been looking forward to Kai Whiston‘s debut for the past few months and local Los Angeles outlet TAR will be letting it all out on June 17. Teenager producer narratives are overwrought, but the fact that Whiston is only 16 is unavoidable, especially considering how fully formed the Houndstooth EP is. Iglooghost’s manic take on beat scene, rap and grime tropes is certainly a reference point on Houndstooth, but tracks like “Spick & Span” (debuted by Mary Anne Hobbes a few months back) and “Melville” have a sound all their own, submerging oddly familiar vocals under dense miasmas of reckless noise, framed by outsized building block percussion. We’ve got “Melville” on premiere today, the EP closer and the most delicate track on Houndsooth, matching reverb-heavy piano with swirls of what sounds like planes taking offs, dense feedback loops and a distant ragga vocal. Whiston’s songs aren’t easily appraisable on first or second listen, but after running through Houndstooth five or six times the vocals feel familiar even through the dense matrix of reverb and samples layered over the top.

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