Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

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New album of superoxygenated synth fantasias out today, seems like a good time for her own thread.

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 07:02 (four years ago) link

New one is great btw - it's a little less busy than Euclid, has more of the calmness of Tides. More vocals though plus real wind instruments alongside the burbling buchlas.

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 07:17 (four years ago) link

This is relevant to my interests!

Sehr Kornisch (Branwell with an N), Friday, 1 April 2016 07:23 (four years ago) link

Need to recall my 'great' about the new one and issue an 'absolutely fucking amazing' in its place

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 07:38 (four years ago) link

I'm only 2 songs in, and I'm already lost and disoriented and amazed in all the best ways.

Last album, I was all "holy shit, these synths!!!" and barely noticed the vocals, but on this one, the tone-cluster harmonisations are unmissable and completely magical.

This is not something I'm going to be able to listen to on the tube, I can tell. I'm going to have to download this and go and sit quietly in a forest with it for a while.

Sehr Kornisch (Branwell with an N), Friday, 1 April 2016 07:42 (four years ago) link

Just wait till the woodwinds turn up fwiw

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 07:45 (four years ago) link

The Philip Glass-esque "pa-pa-pa-pa-pa" vocals meets slithering insect noises of Arthropoda just exploded my brain.

Sehr Kornisch (Branwell with an N), Friday, 1 April 2016 08:12 (four years ago) link

thrilled that it's turned out so well. i liked euclid a lot, but there were some moments on it that veered a bit too close to animal collective-y sugar barf and reading that she was touring with them i feared she might go further in that direction. this one is straight-up gold though, and it arrived on the most perfect spring morning too.

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 08:52 (four years ago) link

This is astonishing and beautiful, it's probably my favourite record of the year so far. I agree it's perfect for spring mornings. I preferred the gentler second half of Euclid and this is a step up even from that - burbling synths and woodwind instruments are one of my favourite sonic combinations so the fact that they're all over this is pretty much catnip for me.

I'm loving the inclusion of more vocals as well, they really work here in a way they didn't on Euclid.

Matt DC, Friday, 1 April 2016 09:08 (four years ago) link

I'd love to get this today, but I don't understand why the CD isn't available on Smith's Bandcamp page? With small-label electronic releases today, normally you can order the CD/vinyl from Bandcamp, after which you can also download the albums as FLACs/WAVs, so you don't have to wait until the record arrives in mail. But this album can only be bought as digital download on Bandcamp, and since I'm one of those old-fashioned foIks who wants to have the CD too, I don't want to pay for it twice.

It was the same deal with Euclid too. Seems pretty stupid that her label doesn't follow what has become the norm with releases like these, it'll just encourage people to acquire the files via illegal means.

Tuomas, Friday, 1 April 2016 09:18 (four years ago) link

good for you for trying to support the label, but amazon do a free autorip if you're desparate

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 09:24 (four years ago) link

or even desperate

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 09:25 (four years ago) link

Yeah, but only as MP3s. And Amazon's own prices are almost way higher than with other sellers.


Tuomas, Friday, 1 April 2016 09:30 (four years ago) link

this album is gorgeous

cher guevara (lex pretend), Friday, 1 April 2016 16:21 (four years ago) link


ended up listening to it 6 times today, and it's not even knocking-off time

donk at the radar station (NickB), Friday, 1 April 2016 16:27 (four years ago) link

seen her twice and it's a remarkable live show; when someone's music has this many pre-composed threads, and your axe is a modular, it can be tough to walk the line between safely-programmed and live. and there are certainly prepared elements cooked in there but there's still a sense of independent threads & haywire randomness, and someone who knows how to listen & who knows her rig so well that all these random elements get utilized. the second live set in SF last september in particular just perfectly balanced live chaos and structure, blew me away much more than any of the records I'd heard so definitely looking forward to making time for this new one


Milton Parker, Friday, 1 April 2016 16:53 (four years ago) link

Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing her in a few weeks at Levitation. New album is great.

Check Yr Scrobbles (Moodles), Friday, 1 April 2016 17:11 (four years ago) link

wow this is big step forward from her already excellent earlier stuff

adam, Friday, 1 April 2016 17:27 (four years ago) link

Her best yet

Brad C., Friday, 1 April 2016 21:31 (four years ago) link

in an act of unfettered capitalism run amok, I bought copies of Euclid and EARS from my local vinyl album purveyor this evening

Check Yr Scrobbles (Moodles), Saturday, 2 April 2016 03:11 (four years ago) link

I bought Euclid from Origami when I was in L.A. a year ago. I am back now and will be buying Ears from ... somewhere.

alpine static, Saturday, 2 April 2016 03:25 (four years ago) link

^^ not that this is all that exciting or worth posting, mostly i am just glad to be back down here where it is warm for a week

alpine static, Saturday, 2 April 2016 03:26 (four years ago) link

This is fabulous. Like a midpoint between Glasser and Invisible Conga People, plus woodwinds.

Tim F, Saturday, 2 April 2016 05:20 (four years ago) link

Definitely hearing glasser in the vocals and the way they're treated

donk at the radar station (NickB), Saturday, 2 April 2016 10:09 (four years ago) link

Found out from a recent story that she comes from Orcas Island, one of the most beautiful but also fairly isolated places in the US. Whether or not that truly reflects in her art I don't know but I think it would encourage a certain independence.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 2 April 2016 12:11 (four years ago) link

I guess I could easily google it, but where is that ned?

donk at the radar station (NickB), Saturday, 2 April 2016 12:49 (four years ago) link

Washington state apparently. That helps explain part of her aesthetic for me. She certainly doesn't sound like anything else out of LA right now. There's this organic pastoral quality to her sound that's very unique and it's wonderful hope her folk and classical background influences her electronic composition. Her new album is a bloody masterpiece BTW. One of the best things released so far this year. She's definitely leveled up.

octobeard, Saturday, 2 April 2016 20:45 (four years ago) link

Lovely stuff: Glasser/non-scary Fever Ray in the vocals, which presses my buttons

new interview @ popmatters

Driving a Spaceship Through Futuristic Jungles with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

djmartian, Sunday, 3 April 2016 21:24 (four years ago) link

The album was heavily influenced by animated art, particularly the movie Nausicaa by Hayao Miyazaki, but also the work of Jean Giraud Moebius and Killian Eng. All three artists, Smith says, “have these neo-futuristic vibes that still feel connected to nature and have a spiritual quality to them.” She adds, “That’s always been very evocative for me and has always been my visual language for when I’m creating sounds. It’s always been in that world. I’m starting to try and connect my visual world with my auditory world and try and make sound environments that can help other people feel those visual worlds.”


really liked euclid but this is wonderful

ogmor, Sunday, 3 April 2016 22:11 (four years ago) link

nothing new to add, this is just incredible. "Existence In The Unfurling" is a perfect piece of music, the way those glassy melodies spiral and leap across each other is otherworldly.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 3 April 2016 22:33 (four years ago) link

This is most excellent, and yeah, "Existence In The Unfurling" is so great, that, while really appreciating the composition of the short pieces here, and how finished they are...the lengthy exploration of the final track is just fantastic. What a closer.

Would echo the see her live if you can! The Bitchin' Bajas pairing last yr. was perfect (and Rob Frye from that outfit supplies horns and woodwinds here, I believe).

dronestreet, Monday, 4 April 2016 15:51 (four years ago) link

i saw her open for grouper last year in san francisco, and it was the only experience i've had where the opening act blew me away with their live performance. the new album is excellent, a cornucopia of wondrous sound, and i'm excited to have it accompany my life in these next few spring and summer months.

j. winters (josh), Monday, 4 April 2016 15:58 (four years ago) link

this is a gorgeous album

marcos, Monday, 4 April 2016 16:16 (four years ago) link

btw, the vinyl copies were very affordable, Euclid is $15 on amazon including digital download. They seemed slightly lightweight, but sound fantastic.

Check Yr Scrobbles (Moodles), Monday, 4 April 2016 16:20 (four years ago) link

EARS is fantastic, can't wait to see her open for the AC next month.

flappy bird, Monday, 4 April 2016 17:43 (four years ago) link

this album is gorgeous and i love it. i wasn't going to say anything bc i have little to contribute beyond this but i wanted to annoy lj.

Mordy, Monday, 4 April 2016 20:29 (four years ago) link

Yeah, I'm into this.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Monday, 4 April 2016 21:38 (four years ago) link

this is such a gift

Shared this album with a couple friends the other day very loud on the home hifi. They kind of just sat back and just said "wow" once the first track finished. After the album was done, we looked at each other and wondered aloud how we were going to put on another album after this one.

octobeard, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 04:17 (four years ago) link

so good. have been nerding out on modular stuff lately - but more the gear than the music being made by it - so to hear something come along like this and just blow you away is a welcome correction as much as anything else.

Justin Townes' URL (haitch), Tuesday, 5 April 2016 04:45 (four years ago) link


get a long, little doggy (m bison), Tuesday, 5 April 2016 04:54 (four years ago) link


Treeship, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 05:22 (four years ago) link

i might prefer euclid to the new one tbh

marcos, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 14:13 (four years ago) link

i do 2 but the new one is still wonderful

Mordy, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 14:15 (four years ago) link

looking fw to seeing her live in NY soon. Put a song on this mix:


dan selzer, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 14:23 (four years ago) link

imago was complaining about this in another thread so i checked it out and am loving it so far, thanks LJ! :)

rockpalast '82 (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 5 April 2016 15:50 (four years ago) link


Treeship, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 15:54 (four years ago) link

Bitterly at that. His loss!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 16:06 (four years ago) link

seriously, I don't keep up with most new ilx threads, but I don't see how this record is particularly ILX-friendly. Maybe because the review compares it to Fever Ray/The Knife?

dan selzer, Tuesday, 5 April 2016 16:07 (four years ago) link

Looking forward to seeing her perform in London tonight, stoked.

MikoMcha, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 16:54 (two years ago) link

Her sound is wearing off on me. It felt so incredible and new on Euclid; then there were moments on EARS that I really relished. Now it's starting to feel like a cartoon. I am ready for her to take a hard left turn into something different.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 21 November 2017 20:58 (two years ago) link

i am co-producing her next album, it is a modular synthesis tribute to tom jones

Men's Scarehouse - "You're gonna like the way you're shook." (m bison), Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:02 (two years ago) link

.... jesus christ y'all

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:02 (two years ago) link

that is on her christmas album

Men's Scarehouse - "You're gonna like the way you're shook." (m bison), Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:03 (two years ago) link

Agree with Pgwp: the textures and rhythms on this album sound amazing, but her singing gets tiring after a while, especially since is using the same filter that was on her previous two albums too, but even more. I still like Waves more than the next three albums because that vocal sound is too much, but I wish she'd make an instrumental synth album again, with the same craft and imagination she's managed to put into this one.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:19 (two years ago) link

Agree with Pgwp and Moodles, I mean.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:19 (two years ago) link

I like the vocals

Whiney G. Weingarten, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 22:08 (two years ago) link

tuomas hates vocals shocker

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 21 November 2017 22:29 (two years ago) link

I've nothing against vocals per se, but their range on Smith's last two albums is not that wide, and using the same filter on them without exception is tiring. I'd be saying the same if she was using the same synth sound on every track. And the two instrumental albums she's (co)produced sound great, so it's not like this is her only thing.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 09:03 (two years ago) link

Yeah, I would love to see her play live in a more jam context - something along the lines of the Sunergy record with Suzanne Ciani. But that said, the live show was pretty jaw-dropping amazing. Cyborg trance, channelling the cosmos territory with amazing bio-organic visuals. There's definitely hooks and strong melodies, certainly even songs, but this stuff is at times also close to mantras or chanting. And the vocals absolutely worked for the whole show, even more so than the album, I felt.

MikoMcha, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 10:21 (two years ago) link

Four Tet remix of I Will Make Room For You is ace

i know kore-eda (or something), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 12:09 (two years ago) link

it's cheaper to rent an orchestra and orchestra hall than it is to build a buchla synthesizer set-up!

This is true!

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 18:00 (two years ago) link

I was at the Scala show too - pretty astonishing. Has she done one of those "Ableton Live" type videos recently (or ever) where explains the gear she uses on stage and how the sounds are generated?

Hearing all the recent stuff end to end did however betray how samey some of the vocals are (and it doesn't help that a lot of the songs are in the same key). I want her to carry on with lyrics but I think a radical change of direction on the vocal front for the next record is called for.

Jeff W, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 18:29 (two years ago) link

Played the new one at record club. https://devonrecordclub.com/2017/12/02/kaitlyn-aurelia-smith-a-kid-round-105-nicks-choice/

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Saturday, 2 December 2017 07:56 (two years ago) link

Were you able to put on another record afterwards?

octobeard, Monday, 4 December 2017 22:07 (two years ago) link


the late great, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 02:32 (two years ago) link

haha, actually we did play this last I think, although not deliberately because of that!

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 5 December 2017 06:32 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

couldn't find a better thread to post this, but claire was mentioned above



kolakube (Ross), Thursday, 8 March 2018 03:24 (two years ago) link

touring and playing Dublin next month!

in twelve parts (lamonti), Friday, 9 March 2018 21:29 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

A new thing.


Jeff W, Saturday, 24 March 2018 15:43 (two years ago) link

I listened to it late last night. It seemed likeable as a long improvisation, maybe not worth $10?

My students mostly seem to think she's crazy for working with Buchla synths instead of a laptop in the 21st century.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 24 March 2018 16:10 (two years ago) link

Yes, definitely one to stream now and then, rather than buy. The cartoon sounds about two thirds of the way through injected some nice levity.

Jeff W, Saturday, 24 March 2018 16:47 (two years ago) link

Listening to it now (and I bought it anyway) -- it's fun!

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 24 March 2018 16:57 (two years ago) link

Not sure if this has been linked already, she has a monthly radio show on nts - https://www.nts.live/shows/kaitlyn-aurelia-smith

just sayin, Saturday, 24 March 2018 22:58 (two years ago) link

sounds nice would be cool if the tape came with some succulents

tomorrow, Sunday, 25 March 2018 21:35 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

Radio show starting up now, checking it out.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 10 August 2018 19:01 (one year ago) link


marcos, Friday, 10 August 2018 19:56 (one year ago) link

Good stuff, pretty eclectic.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 10 August 2018 20:00 (one year ago) link

She’s so lucky to have inherited a buchla from a neighbour. That’s insane. Also living on orca island - damn

grandaddy of all liars (Ross), Friday, 10 August 2018 21:20 (one year ago) link

unusually informative URL

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 19:58 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

I wonder if that's just a vinyl/digital reissue of the original Waves? I love it to death, but I don't see the point of listening to ambient music on vinyl, and obviously I don't need to buy the digital version twice. It seems to be lacking the final track ("Tides X") of the original release, so maybe it's been reworked in some way?

Tuomas, Saturday, 10 November 2018 12:57 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

New album on Ghostly International in May.

Teaser track, "Expanding Electricity":


Press blurb extract:

West coast composer, artist, and producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has chartered a pioneering career with multiple critically-acclaimed albums since 2015. Following the release of The Kid in 2017, Smith focused her energy in several directions. She founded Touchtheplants, a multidisciplinary creative environment for projects including the first volumes in her instrumental Electronic Series and pocket-sized poetry books on the practice of listening within. She's continued to explore the endless possibilities of electronic instruments as well as the shapes, movements, and expressions found in the physical body's relationship to sound and color. It is this life-guiding interest that forms the foundational frequencies of her latest full-length, The Mosaic of Transformation, a bright, sensorial glide through unbound wave phenomena and the radiant power discovered within oneself.

"I guess in one sentence, this album is my expression of love and appreciation for electricity," says Smith. While writing and recording, she embraced a daily practice of physical movement, passing electricity through her body and into motion, in ways reflecting her audio practice, which sends currents through modular synthesizers and into the air through speakers. Not a dancer by any traditional definition, she taught herself improvisatory movement realizing flexibility, strength, and unexpectedly, what Smith calls “a visual language” (the term was introduced to her by filmmaker Sean Hellfritsch) stemming from the human body and comprised of vibrational shapes. Understood as cymatics, as she says, "as a reference for how frequencies can be visualized," much like a mosaic.

Smith describes her first encounters with this mosaic; "the inspiration came to me in a sudden bubble of joy. It was accompanied by a multitude of shapes that were moving seamlessly from one into the other...My movement practice has been a constant transformation piece by piece. I made this album in the same way. Every day I would transform what I did yesterday...into something else. This album has gone through about 12 different versions of itself." As it has arrived, in a completed state, The Mosaic of Transformation is a holistic manifestation of embodied motions. Smith's signature textural curiosity that fans have grown to adore pivots naturally into a proprioceptive study of melody and timbre. Airy organ and voice interweave with burbling Buchla-spawned harmonic bubbles.


Jeff W, Thursday, 12 March 2020 19:44 (three weeks ago) link

*reads blurb*

*stocks up on rotten tomatoes*

strangely hookworm but they manage ream shoegaze poetry (imago), Thursday, 12 March 2020 19:50 (three weeks ago) link

I'm sure you did the stocking up proprioceptively.

Jeff W, Thursday, 12 March 2020 19:54 (three weeks ago) link

tbf now i'm on lockdown my flat is now also a 'multidisciplinary creative environment'

strangely hookworm but they manage ream shoegaze poetry (imago), Thursday, 12 March 2020 19:55 (three weeks ago) link

hurling the rotten tomatoes will probably qualify as a 'holistic manifestation of embodied motions' though

strangely hookworm but they manage ream shoegaze poetry (imago), Thursday, 12 March 2020 19:58 (three weeks ago) link

Nice, pretty psyched to add this to the collection

omar little, Thursday, 12 March 2020 20:31 (three weeks ago) link

I love her music and I'm woo-woo as fuck so I can't wait for this

winters (josh), Friday, 13 March 2020 00:23 (three weeks ago) link

I know certain posters are docking her coolness points or whatever, but I like that she is true to herself and her own idiosyncratic weirdness.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 13 March 2020 02:47 (three weeks ago) link

It makes a lot of sense if you;ve seen her live.

Chief Kyiv, Friday, 13 March 2020 03:35 (three weeks ago) link

She emanates L.A./west coast New Ageness both in her music and her promos too now haha. Probably has some crystals next to her synths or something, but still love her to death

octobeard, Friday, 13 March 2020 06:16 (three weeks ago) link

Shes from and lives on orcas island in the san juans, no? Peak west coast crystal vibe zone

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Friday, 13 March 2020 06:36 (three weeks ago) link

still a shocking album cover regardless of her vibe

in twelve parts (lamonti), Saturday, 14 March 2020 07:56 (three weeks ago) link

she should tour with Marianne williamson

flappy bird, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:44 (two weeks ago) link

or score a love prayer

flappy bird, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:45 (two weeks ago) link

what's the matter with peace love and understanding

lukas, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:46 (two weeks ago) link


flappy bird, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:47 (two weeks ago) link

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