Kaleida’s debut album ‘Tear The Roots’ is out now.
Kaleida are an electronic duo from London and the combined talents of Christina Wood (vocals) and Cicely Goulder (keys, production). The debut album is out now.
The lead single, ‘Echo Saw You’, showcases Christina’s sublime vocals over a muted, percussive bass riff. Kaleida felt it a fitting introduction to the album because “it’s a sound that says something about the album. I think with this song, we were trying to create a sound world, rather than it being a literal story.”
“The model where men control everything,” says Cicely Goulder, “and there’s a woman singing on top of music that men have produced, for men’s gratification, is breaking down.” Enter Kaleida, who are here to help it crumble. The duo writes, records and produces all their music themselves.
The first thing they wrote together, the darting, minimalist ‘Think’, a song that makes you want to dance in slow motion, racked up 60,000 YouTube views the night they put it online. It’s about sex, says Christina, and wanting something you can’t have anymore – though it was the sinister edge to its sultriness that made it work so well in one of the most violent scenes in neo-noir thriller John Wick. With 34 million streams across all their singles to date, Kaleida has an impressive foundation of work.
‘Tear The Roots’, Kaleida’s debut LP, offers a deep, unsettling kind of pop. Their identity is partly informed by the music they grew up with – Cicely’s late godfather was an electronic composer, and Christina was in a church choir that sang Appalachian songs as a child – but they try not to be too influenced by the noise around them. They don’t listen to other people’s songs while they’re making their own, and even working with other writers and producers dilutes the formula.
Kaleida like the meaning behind their music to be ambiguous. The eerie ‘Coco’, with a beat that sounds like the tapping and scraping of medical machinery, as the falsetto spectre of Christina’s voice hovers above it, “is sort of like a psychiatric breakdown. It’s supposed to be quite mantric and creepy.” Sometimes Kaleida are drawn to darkness, other times they despair of it.
House Of Pulp, for example, which ripples with an anger that’s only become more relevant as the political landscape has become more disturbing: “What are we building here above the dead cement?” pleads Christina, “Out in the plastic sea, we drown the innocent.” Her work in climate policy filtered into one of the album’s threads – what she only half-jokingly refers to as “the apocalyptic future.” Another track, a cover of Nena’s ’99 Luftballons’, was recorded for the Charlize Theron-starring spy thriller Atomic Blonde – “She plays this female bisexual Bond” – but its political sentiment, and its unsettling, brooding sound world, “just fitted,” so they put it on the album too.
Ultimately, shutting the door to the outside world has served Kaleida well. “You shouldn’t do stuff to please other people. If you want to make something that really resonates with people on a core level, then it has to really come from you, it has to be really genuine.” Tear The Roots is just that – and now they’re ready to let you back in.