Kaleida isn’t quite your typical electronic duo. Fronted by singer Christina Wood, the pair is rounded out by another female, Cicely Goulder, taking a spot usually held by a faceless male producer. Goulder is literally in the background: she plays keyboard and produces, plus she’s behind Wood in nearly every photo they’re in together. There’s something understated about Kaleida’s six-song debut EP, Think, which manages to be dramatic without being intense. Their formula is mixing warm, velvety vocals with soft, bubbly melodies. The duo has been gaining attention since their debut single, “Think,” was featured on the John Wick soundtrack. So yes, you can listen to Kaleida while watching Keanu Reeves shooting people in the face while he chases a towel-clad Alfie Allen through a club (if that interests you.) The soft song is an interesting juxtaposition with all of the close-range head shots.
Wood’s vocals bring something new to the table compared to many other. Instead of breathy, she brings to mind Natalie Merchant with her deep, warm tones. She can go higher and breathier, but it’s refreshing to hear pretty vocals that hold their own against (and even overpower) the keyboard. “Think” is a great introduction to Wood’s vocals, mixing the low, warm vocals with higher, clearer ones. The vocals are really what add add drama to the album as the music stays subtle and soft. On “The Call,” Wood’s vocal tracks are layered, adding a lot of depth with commanding backing vocals.
Goulder has produced the album in a way that lacks intensity but doesn’t lack a dark, brooding feeling. The sound is best described as bubbly on many of the tracks, but it’s a weird, dark kind of bubble. The percussion is very light throughout, you won’t find a throbbing beat. “Ruby” has the strongest beat, which fits because it is about getting a love interest out on the dance floor. “Tropea” sounds like a Motorola ringtone thanks to all of the bubbly notes. “Think” really stands out: the use of a triangle and percussion that sounds close to handclaps makes the song sound organic despite being almost entirely electronic.
This is a pretty album, though there’s not a lot differentiating each song. The songs are soft and subtle, it’s mellow for electropop and finds low-impact ways to add drama through the vocals and bubbly noises. It’s not a bad album for having on in the background as you go on a Keanu-style shooting spree, the understated songs will keep you calm as you chase bad guys. Still, the ringtone-esque sounds won’t hook everyone.