Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

“Wait 4” by “Kygo, a”

By Ron Powers

I’ve been following the artist known as “Kygo, a” for several years now. Not only am I struck by the high quality of her artistic expression, but “Kygo, a” seems to be expanding the creative boundaries of music itself with each new release. Her latest single “Wait 4” is a spectacular example of the boundary-expanding quality of her music. “Kygo, a” appears to be generating a new genre of music melding classical orchestration and EDM rhythmic elements that tap into our primal urge to move and dance. There’s a sophisticated intelligence in the music and yet at the same time, there’s something very approachable and instinctual running through every note.

“Wait 4” begins with the smooth thump of a kick drum tuned to the key of the song along with a focused and slightly ambient synth sound. As the song gears up we hear double note staccato horn blasts mixed with 007 like string trills. Next, “Kygo, a” establishes a groove that is composed of quarter notes from the string section and a pleasant melody delivered by a mixture of synth sounds. This mixture of synth sounds generates a completely original sonic value with a plucking effect that sounds fresh and original.

For the next movement of the song, things pick up further when some classic synthesizer sounds are introduced. These synthesizers deliver a quick-paced melody and mix well with the energy-packed hi-hat rhythm and somewhat mysterious-sounding xylophone notes. We also hear a bumping bass line bopping around this section. I had the pleasure of listening to this song on a “Bang & Olufsen” sound system and it’s absolutely jaw-dropping how much power “Kygo, a” has packed into the bass frequencies of “Wait 4”. If you have access to high-quality speakers, please listen to “Wait 4” on them. I promise you’ll enjoy it.

As I was digging into the details for “Wait 4”, I was surprised to learn that the songwriter is listed as GH Hat who is another artist I’ve been following for years. This was an intriguing surprise and has deepened the mystery of both “Kygo, a” and GH Hat for me. Both musicians have elements of classical music in their recordings and both have great EDM and pop sensibility. Is GH Hat pioneering the creation of a whole new genre of electronic dance music through multiple artists? Classical EDM? Or “Orchestrated EDM”? There are close to twenty instruments used in this song.  Intriguing concept, and it works. As one of “Wait 4’s” Soundcloud commentors pointed out: “There’s so much going on you don’t need to rely on a driven beat.” EDM’s usual clap-clap is not needed, which in itself is very intriguing.

How deep does this mystery go? Might there be other artists that GH Hat is creating through? One thing is for sure, there is a creative force at work that has many of us paying attention and excited for what is to come.

As the title implies, “Wait 4” is the fourth installment in “Kygo, a’s” Wait series and, for me, marks a high point for her music in general. “Kygo, a’s” use of melodic instruments to create intricate rhythms along with multiple layers of instrumentation keeps my attention in ways very few artists can. “Wait 4” is a song I can’t recommend enough and if you’d like to hear it you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like to learn more about “Kygo, a”, you can find her on Twitter, and Facebook.

About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.

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