Kayla is a relatively new artist, having dropped two singles in 2019 before finally releasing her debut EP, Light, this year. Despite this, and her relative youth, she possesses an emotional maturity and grace which shines through in her lyrics. If you like the sentimental aspects of artists like Suzanne, you’ll probably enjoy Kayla’s work as well.

kayla light

Although not strictly religious, “Lost” definitely has elements of contemporary Christian music, including a call to God. It’s a piano- and drum-driven track, complete with an acoustic guitar, giving it a gentle, acoustic feel. Kayla utilizes reverb on the chorus, giving a sense of emptiness to the space as she sings, “I’m lost / God, I’m lost.” The track laments the struggle many feel to be truly happy and at peace with their place in the world, and is a relatively mournful opener for the EP.

However, “Back Home” has a very different sound profile, although it follows along a similar vein lyrically. Synth percussion leads into a lo-fi beat which, although not strictly upbeat, does feel more optimistic than the opening track. Kayla’s vocals and lyrics follow a similar suit, with her tone brightening and her delivery becoming less warbling.

This track has both English and Korean lyrics, and describes the feeling of being different, being othered, and the desire to go back to the place where you can always feel you belong: home. Although reassuring herself it will be okay, she still struggles with her feelings:

I feel like I’m going round and round

Not knowing where I’m headed

(Over and over)

I feel like I’m going round and round

Not knowing where I’m headed

So take me back to the place

Where I truly do belong?

So take me back

이 시간 속에 갇혀 있는 (Stuck in this hour.)

내 모습에 난 지쳐만 가 (I’m tired of the way I look.)

Take me home.

“Dear Parents,” as the title may suggest, is an open letter to her parents. In it, she harkens back to the opening track, and apologizes to her parents for how she feels she’s wronged them – although it seems she’s more responding to her own insecurities than their words. Kayla sings softly, much like in Lost, and once again utilizes a synthesizer.

It’s less somber than Lost but the lyrics are similarly raw and tender as she sings about her love for her parents, and her desire to be better for them. She harmonizes with herself beautifully and reassures her parents – and likely herself – that she can and will keep trying, for their sake and hers. Although it’s self-critical, it also has a glimmer of hope that things will be better, even if it takes time.

Oh, I love you so much

But I’m so sorry for taking you for granted

Oh, I want you to know

I never really meant to hurt your feelings

“Endless Road” is the closer, and it starts with reverbed guitar and Kayla’s ad-libbing. This song is more openly religious than Lost, reading like a prayer. She sings directly to God, asking Him for guidance while also extolling what He has already done for her.

It’s a beautiful song, particularly if you are religious, but even if you aren’t it’s a tender moment to partake in with Kayla as she finds renewed hope. Although she feels lost at times, or like she isn’t good enough and doesn’t fit in, she finds solace in her faith and bares her soul in this closing track.

You’re my light

You help me find the way

You give me hope

To start all things again.

Overall, if I could describe the EP with only a few adjectives, they would be: vulnerable, sentimental, and sweet. Light is an exploration of insecurity and faith, the courage to carry on found in unconditional love when all else seems lost.

Although its religious undertones may not be for everyone, the messages of feeling inferior and isolated will probably resonate with most audiences – especially after the past year and a half. In the end, Kayla is simply reminding us that there is light even at the end of the darkest tunnels, and that may just be something we all need to hear.

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