Cusp, the debut EP from Melbourne-based electronic duo Klo., is solid proof that mums always know best. Yep, story goes that Melbourne cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam never would have made music together if it weren’t for a shrewd push in the right direction (and no doubt some nagging) from their respective mamacitas. And, as is often the case with motherly advice, everything turned out great. Better than great, actually. Klo. is part of the new wave of talented, genre-crossing electronic outfits that have been popping up in Melbourne as of late. Their debut EP, out via Dot Dash/Remote Control, is a smooth, soulful and entrancingly addictive record with a more mature, polished sound than your average EP. Cusp is the perfect title for the release, as it showcases the thrilling combination of both musicians’ individual talents: Lam with his excellent engineering and electronic production and Kaul with her velvety R&B vocals.

For fans of Lam’s other musical project I’lls, you can expect the same glitchy avant-garde/experimental feel with Cusp – only this time infused with pop-y, soul flavours. At five tracks in length, the EP peaks and trophs with impressive energy, as Kaul’s sultry vocals echo, soar and melt over Lam’s electronic/drum production. Cusp is club music in its finest and most modern form, but it also possesses a kind of dark sensuality, and behind its technical goodness there is a hybrid sense of melancholia and danger.

On the addictive lead single ‘Make Me Wonder’, Kaul’s sultry vocals drift soothingly beside Lam’s downtempo beats and booming drums, with those simple-but-infectious four notes persisting through the track. With its dreamy lounge vibes this song is probably already on its way to reaching summer anthem status. The following track, ‘Under Lie’, amps up the drumbeat, with Kaul’s vocals taking on a beautifully melodic R&B sound that is, more than ever, reminiscent of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano. The song’s texture and momentum crescendo gorgeously as the song progresses, (don’t be surprised if you start hypnotically swaying); ‘Under Lie’ could very well be the highlight of the EP. On ‘False Calls’, it becomes blatantly obvious that Klo. has a knack for strong intros. ‘False Calls’ is Cusp at its most dark and ominous, as Kaul sings ‘I will see you falling / but it wont be long ‘til you fall harder than you know’ over space-age keyboards and synths, glitchy beats and resounding drums.

In what was probably inevitable, the final two songs on the album don’t have quite the same infectiousness as the first three. ‘Take Us To The Grave’ features light, airy vocals, interesting sampling and an infectious beat. It is a textured, layered song, but less punchy than the rest. Meanwhile, ‘Ride Carry On’ has more of a ballad feel. Kaul’s voice seems to be full of yearning: be it from guilt, pain or loss, and is sung over quiet piano and the gentle clinking of synths. On the whole, Cusp is a remarkably strong EP that demands your attention the entire way through, and Klo.’s funky electronic vibe is a sound that we need more of. Thank you, Mother Lam and Mother Kaul, thank you.

7/10

 

Cusp will be released on November 14th via Dot Dash/Remote Control.