"Chains" - KylEast
“Chains” displays KylEast at her vulnerable, but powerful, best
From the opening sound of a door-slamming drum machine to the last whispered syllable, KylEast not just demands but earns your attention. An LA-based singer-songwriter who released the incredible “Holy Water” last year, she continues her streak of sharp lyrics and bombastic vocals aimed at the experience of a contemporary woman. This time, she tackles body dysmorphia and anorexia in another industrial, synth-laden gut punch.
Like fellow powerhouses Rachel Platten and Beth Gibbons, KylEast lulls you into a false sense of security before deploying her greatest asset: her cannon of a voice. Her words begin as hushed lamentations before leaping into a full rage against the commodification of self, spitting such condemnations as “Here she is / Your worthless wonder,” with as much contempt as empathy.
The instrumentation is a well-crafted diving board for KylEast’s acrobatic vocals, with distorted horns and synths carrying us down through the narrator’s hell. There’s credit due here to Ben Cohen, co-writer and mixing engineer. The techniques used are impressive and dynamic without overshadowing KylEast's vocals and their message, and the ghostly synthesized vocals in the chorus only serve to reinforce the isolation discussed in the lyric. There are nods to The Haxan Cloak and Finneas, but most of the production and instrumental touches feel organic and original.
All said, the song is not for the meek or for the casual. It lays bare the horrors of feeling ashamed of your own body while still attempting to talk yourself out of a hole. Her delivery is drenched with conviction and the drive of someone who has personal experience with the words they sing. If KylEast aimed for a body image anthem, she has absolutely succeed. “Chains” will resonate deeply with anybody who’s looked into the mirror and wished their appearance away.
Watch the video for "Chains" here.
Stay in touch with KylEast on her website.