Kygo Delivers Another Round of Tropical-House With New Album ‘Kids in Love’
Norwegian producer Kygo has had a great year. Before his EP featuring Selena Gomez and U2 dropped in Sept., Apple Music released a documentary about the days leading up to his debut performance at Barclay’s Center in 2016. Back again in the spotlight with his latest effort “Kids in Love,” Kygo is capitalizing on his worldwide base of tropical-house fans by sticking with the formula that brought the DJ to fame in the first place. As someone who helped bring this genre to prominence with his debut single “Firestone” and remix of “Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire,” Kygo isn’t finished getting all he can from from these beachside sounds. With an album cover that resembles a Banksy street piece, Kygo has put together an equally colorful piece of work this time around.
One of the young producer’s main talents is his ability to create a sense of profundity in his music. Each and every tune involves uplifting crescendos alongside the visceral lyrical content of his chosen vocalists. Take the OneRepublic lead “Stranger Things,” which sounds a lot like a modern-day Coldplay tune. This certainly speaks to Kygo’s talent as there’s nary a better team of musicians capable of creating an uplifting pop song than them. Not only Coldplay, but sounds reminiscent of The Who work their way into this album. The title track features Boston up-and-coming pop band The Night Game in a single that makes good use of the acoustic piano progression from “Baba O’Riley.” Kygo said in an interview with Billboard recently that the album was inspired in part by Bon Iver, Red Hot Chili Peppers and fellow Scandinavian DJ Avicii. Surely there are moments throughout that can be traced back to these varied artists, but overall Kygo’s signature sounds are most prominent.
Aside from collabs with OneRepublic, Kygo chose to go with lesser known singers this time around. By using artists like the aforementioned band The Night Game and John Newman, an artist whose previous work includes a Rudimental collab, but not much else, makes his records all the more interesting to digest. As an artist of Kygo’s caliber, it’s more than easy to bring on the likes of John Legend, but more interesting to put artists like Newman on the first track of his new record in a song that wholly accentuates his smoky, soul-infused tone. The buttery groove of “Riding Shotgun” showcases the exceptional writing ability – and register – of Bonnie McKee while “With You” incorporates finger snaps and vintage synths to elevate Wrabel’s falsetto. One of the stand out tracks comes with “I See You” simply because of the utterly entrancing guest vocalist, Billy Raffoul. This young Canadian artist uses tinges of Tom Waits and Joe Cocker to bring a stunning rawness to this overall bubbly tune.
Kygo has been pumping out material left and right since he first burst on the scene 2015. “I don’t feel the need to wait (or) hold back,” he said to Billboard of his flurry of recent releases. With two full lengths – in two years – already under his belt, it seems as if he has no intention of letting this current spat of inspiration go to waste. Based on “Kids in Love,” an album full of hope, Kygo clearly has plenty more positivity to spread.
“Kids in Love” is available Nov. 3 on Apple Music.