In an industry where there is good reason to construct art inside strict algorithmic parameters, there’s something enormously refreshing about the bold and brash approach Kynsy takes to creating a singalong on Something To Do With Love. With her sophomore EP release, you really do get the sense that the Dublin artist does what she wants, and what she wants is to create the kind of music you hear on the radio but with an extra cool, alternative factor.
We’re eased in by ‘Point Of You’, greeting us kindly at the door with an erratic little synth line that goes hand-in-hand with the very simple and stepwise vocal melody. The marriage between the simple and the complex crops up so often throughout the EP – a catchy hook on vocals resting on an elaborate supporting mesh of guitar and synth lines. This is a tune that would slot into radio play with no letters of complaint from some begrudging auld fella, but still stands shoulders above its contemporaries in terms of craftsmanship.
Once you’ve gone from ‘Point of You’ to ‘New Year’, it’s apparent that Kynsy has an enormous amount of influence from a crucible of artists, all melted down to make something shiny and new from their parts. ‘New Year’ has that balls-to-the-wall feel of Yeah Yeah Yeahs with a pinch of St. Vincent.
‘Point of You’ has some pre-choruses that could have been heard in the best Mitski works, with the kind of wit you’d expect from early albums by The Strokes. Later on, ‘Thumb Wars’ takes a leaf from Arctic Monkey’s Favourite Worst Nightmare, while utilizing the kind of rough-finish production that gives Billie Eilish such a rebellious feel. Kynsy isn’t beholden to these artists though – this is very much the art of taking something borrowed while giving something new.
Lyricism might not be the focus of the EP, but that’s not to say there aren’t a few lyrical gems scattered through each tune. ‘Simple Life’ once again goes with the aforementioned complex musicality and simple vocal melody, letting the lyrics really shine in this track. It’s a great way to show of the poetic chops of the EP, done especially well in ‘Simple Life’ and ‘Love of Your Life’. It’s almost a shame that until I had the lyrics in front of me, I hadn’t even grasped how well-written they are.
It would be criminal to miss a mention of the monster production values in this EP – every second of every song contains such intricate layers of sound, blended together perfectly and made more crunchy when it needs to be. Take a careful listen to ‘Thumb Wars’ and notice how much is actually going on – the jazz-pop stylings, swaddled with the rough style of production, supporting a rotating cast of vocal textures – it’s hard not to be impressed.
We leave Kynsy’s world in grand fashion with ‘Love of Your Life’, a blend of the classic jazz-pop song with a pinch of indie & alternative. It makes for a phenomenal outro and perfect summary to an EP that is practically glowing with personality, intelligence & craftsmanship. Upon conclusion, you get the sense that Kynsy is going to be a powerhouse in alternative music within the next few years, and Something To Do With Love should pave the way for her to begin that journey.