May 19, 2022


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Bild des Albumcovers von „It Was A Home“ von Kaina

Kayna – “It Was Home” (review) – ByteFM

kayna – “it’s been a house” (slang for the city)


Like a warm and very firm hug – this is how listeners of the new album of new soul singer Kayna from Chicago feel. “Can Beta” is the title of the second American work with Guatemalan and Venezuelan roots. And this already gives an idea: for a musician, topics such as origin and “home” can not be so easily connected to one place. For a long time they struggled with questions of identity and the feeling of being out of place. But it’s precisely these negative feelings that Kaina leaves behind on the tall player and exudes a benevolent, life-affirming communal sense of purpose. Totally upbeat and bright work is the art of being free from burdens and motivation to go your own way without restrictions.

This leads Kaina to an unremarkable chatter, good feel, and R&B sound that has a realistic retro charm despite its vast synthetic soundscapes and electronically generated music. What is remarkable about their songs is how the organic pieces seem to take time to develop experimental and atmospheric acoustic art. The beat is always a little slower than most R&B* artists, which means that even familiar rhythms, for example from the Latin region, can suddenly acquire completely new qualities.

We are all in the same boat

With “Apple” and “Anybody Can Be In Love,” previous solo releases gave insight into the range of moods and sounds represented in “It Was A Home.” The first comes as an uptempo track and has lines like “Apple on a Tree / I want to be so sweet / Do you have some extra sugar I can keep?” On the somewhat subdued album, it’s very dynamic, almost grim. And it even allows ASMR enthusiasts to get their money’s worth. Since you’re totally addicted to the topic, the song is full of crisp apple-chomping sounds, and it doesn’t stop there: Stevie Wonder’s cover of “Come Back As A Flower” also experiences detailed natural tones and a soothing birdie song. In terms of content, the singer on “Apple” talks in a very charming way about the difficulties of accepting oneself exactly as one is. Modeling the entire work, what is actually painful is posed in an entirely positive way – giving the listener the reassuring feeling that “we are all in the same boat and have the same-issues-to-fight” it gives. The song “Anybody Can Be In Love”, on the other hand, is more typical of the work, and with Kaina’s soft and smooth vocals, it creates a sunny, warm, relaxed vibe that lasts throughout the entirety of the album’s nearly 42-minute listening time.

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But, despite the harmonious mood, the sound remains very pleasant due to the large contrast of the singles. There is the ‘Casita’ track, which is very advanced in comparison, in which the American, accompanied by heavy wind instruments, turns into Spanish. In “Ultraviolet” she and her special guests Sleater-Kinney provide a distorted guitar sound, which has been replaced by strong strings and choruses in “Friend Of Mine.” The last track also shows Kaina herself from a hitherto unknown side as she finally seems to demand herself to follow her own advice.

And even if she’s still struggling with herself in some places: Kaina trusts herself a lot more on “It Was A Home” than on her debut album “Next To The Sun.” She decided to go her own way and with her irrepressible optimism and seemingly God-given confidence, she is sure to motivate some of her listeners to do the same with the new tall player. Especially those who grew up like her among different languages ​​and cultures.

Release date: March 4, 2022
Label: vernacular city

Image with text: ByteFM Friends Association

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