Kavinsky was catapulted to fame after his breakout single 'Nightcall' famously featured in the title sequence of Drive (2011). Despite this powerful introduction, Kavinsky took nearly a decade away from releasing music to work on his sound: "After the sudden success of 'Nightcall', I didn’t really want to record again. I took two steps back and started to imagine what I was going to record after that, at my own pace.”
Now, nine years later, Kavinsky is back with 'Reborn' – his first full album since his debut 'OutRun'. 'Reborn' is exactly what it says on the tin – a regeneration of Kavinsky's sound with a new timeless, experimental feel.
Inspired by the thousands of films he enjoyed as a child, the youthful, cinematic exuberance of Kavinsky's music has never been more apparent than it is in 'Reborn'. A soundscape that feels like movie magic, Kavinsky's skilful marriage of French House and theatrical synth-pop leads 'Reborn' to a slower, fuller sound than his previous releases.
Synthwave influences and saxophone licks permeate this futuristic project, creating the soundscape for Kavinsky to reflect on love, death, and the future of romance.
'Reborn' expands the conceptual narrative of 'OutRun' with a heightened filmic gaze. In tracks such as 'Zenith' and 'Vigilante' we see continued moments of fluctuating synths, flashes of full harmonies and rip-roaring electric guitar, but with a production style that feels less restrained than his debut.
'Renegade' featuring Cautious Clay is a stand-out for the project, as the R&B artist’s buttery-smooth vocals have listeners dreaming of summer, with synths reminiscent of The Weeknd’s revolving synths. Unafraid to explore his softer side, though, the album’s middle track ‘Goodbye' has poignant lyrics and downbeat piano emulsified by stellar production.
'Trigger' and 'Zombie' feature staggering beats and rhythmic keyboard inspired by '80s Japanese anime, adding interesting texture to the telefunk atmosphere. Despite the dark aesthetic of ‘Reborn’, the album shines bright with promise for the futuristic vista of Kavinsky.
Words: Gem Stokes
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