05/09/2014—Of course, there’s no official start to road trip season, but pre-summer is naturally a good time to start thinking about new destinations—which means that it’s again time to explore some worthy driving music.
This time around, we’d like you to meet Kye Kye. With roots in Estonia, but based in Portland, Oregon, the group’s soothing electronic instrumentation, combined with lead singer Olga Yagolnikov-Phelan’s airy, otherworldly voice, is—like driving for driving’s sake—a temporary escape.
We rest our case on the video above. The track you’re hearing, “Glass,” is from Kye Kye’s second album, Fantasize, released earlier this year. The album is a purposefully independent project funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign (despite interest in the band from record labels after Kye Kye’s first album, Young Love, established the group’s devoted fan base).
Chances are you’ve already heard Kye Kye’s music. It’s featured in the 2012 film Day One, has been heard in MTV’s Awkward, and can be found in a slew of commercials for the Samsung Galaxy S III, Jawbone JAMBOX, VSCO Cam for Android release, and Squarespace.
Listen to any Kye Kye track closely, and you’ll detect hints of influences, which include Sigur Rós, Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay, and M83. Olga, however, explains that adhering to a genre isn’t foremost on her mind, nor on the minds of band members Timothy Yagolnikov, Alex Yagolnikov, and Thomas Phelan.
“Genre didn’t really mean a whole lot for us growing up; we never had some kind of loyalty to a specific type of music,” she explains. “Be it folk, R&B, or anything classically 80s or 90s, it was always about the connection and about listening for honesty in the music, and I think that most people can somehow feel it without really being able to explain how.”
—BRIAN GILL/VIDEO PRODUCED BY JAMES GILMER
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