This spring saw the debut release of singer-songwriter/producer paulkyte (폴카이트), with his EP SMALLTALKTHIEF.
While this marks his first solo recording under said moniker, paulkyte is no stranger to the Korean music industry. Previous collaborations include with Yerin Baek (ONSTAGE 온스테이지 keyboard and chorus), Huckleberry P, Paloalto, and Verbal Jint.
The four-track release melds paulkyte’s production with his vocals – musically and thematically anchored around the first track “낭만” (“Romance”). The EP continues with “Melting,” “Tonight,” and “Lost.”
“낭만” immediately stands out as the most experimental of the EP’s tracks, through paulkyte’s ability to morph and blend vocal into beat and vice versa – the true craftsmanship of a producer/singer-songwriter.
The three tracks that follow show more of a traditional dichotomy between voice and rhythm. “Melting,” a smoother R&B/trap track, hears paulkyte slowly, if a bit shyly, pulsating between sound and silence (also similarly heard later on “Tonight”). Lyrical, flowing vocal lines are the key highlight here, especially whenever the word “melting” is uttered, as they gently push and pull against the beat.
Finally, “Lost” hears paulkyte a capella over synthesized harmonizer for the EP’s one English-language track. Evoking a church choir, paulkyte constructs gorgeous harmonies that fill the room, ironically in a soundscape he alone has created – a cathartic and climactic song of yearning, reminiscence, and contemplation.
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