Australian artist Kyle Linaham examines the usual avenues of love and heartache in his music but also digs into the darker material of marginalization and social injustices, elements of which have followed in his footsteps as a person of color growing up in a suburb mostly populated by individuals of European-Australian descent. Through the moniker of KYVA, however, Linaham doles out personal vignettes that possess potent emotional revelations awash in universal sentiment — his work builds to a movable catharsis as he dismantles and reshapes influences from acts like The Cure, Prince, and a whole host of 80s pop groups.
“I’ve been trying to connect with what the project means to me,” Linaham explains, “what it is at it’s core and where it might sit in the world. I keep coming back to one recurring theme: a search for home and belonging. KYVA represents occupying a space between two worlds. The pull and push of that experience.”
Recently signed to Frenchkiss Records, KYVA is ready to bring his darkwave and synth-soaked rumblings to everyone who can spare just a few minutes. On his new single, “Dollar Sign”, he blends the DIY contours of indie-R&B with the gloss and theatricality of eighties pop music, creating a sound as intoxicating as it is immersive. Hs voice is haunting and prone to complicated narratives that act more as intimate conversations than arena sing-alongs. Breaking down our obsession with material things and social status, he uses the languid rhythms of the song to tear down the walls of privilege and excess that people have built up around themselves.
“Ultimately, what I’ve learned from the experience of writing the lyrics for this song is that I can see there is a duality living within me,” says Linaham. “The allure of money, security and opportunity it might bring for me, specifically, is something that I live with along with my disgust for extreme wealth and greed and all the excesses and absurdities that come with late capitalism.”
As an outlet for personal growth and development, and as a way to explore his own sense of Self, KYVA has become a way for him to tackle themes of societal unrest, emotional uncertainty and the gravity of bringing enlightenment to those who minds seem intent on operating under false pretenses. KYVA brings a joyous devastation to traditional social mores and revels in these acts of melodic deconstruction.