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KLO On The Cusp

Klo
Klo

“We’re comfortable with putting out the silliest ideas in front of each other and making idiots of ourselves on a daily basis.”

Two unique backgrounds, one full sound; cousins Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul have teamed up to produce percussive melodies in their just-released debut EP, Cusp. AARON BRYANS speaks with Lam about the duo’s unexpected combination.

Whether it’s Angus and Julia Stone or The Jackson 5, there’s no denying the chemistry between musical families.

For cousins Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul, the duo now known as Klo had led quite separate lives until a twist of fate transformed their musical aspirations.

I was doing an audio engineering course and Chloe was doing a solo singer thing with her acoustic guitar and wanted to get some recordings and videos out there,” Lam reveals. “My mum was talking to her mum and they decided we should both get together and make these recordings. I hadn’t heard her sing at this point. I was 20 and she was 18 and as soon as we started working together I realised she was something special. She wanted to make some electronic music but she didn’t know anyone who was into that stuff in her musical circle. We found each other at the right time.

We weren’t very close at the start, so it was kind of like working with anyone else. I think having some family ties from long ago helped us pick up our relationship really quickly and now we’re super close and we have pretty much no reservations when it comes to writing music now. We’re comfortable with putting out the silliest ideas in front of each other and making idiots of ourselves on a daily basis.”

Starting in late 2013, the duo began working together on their debut EP Cusp, released last week. Anticipation has been high with three of the five tracks on the EP already released, receiving a massive response from their quickly developing fan base.

The reception has been super good,” Lam laughs. “For some reason the first single has a ridiculous amount of plays on Soundcloud. Not ridiculous for some people but ridiculous for anything we’ve ever been involved in before. I only just realised that the second single is up on Spotify and the play count on that is silly, I think it’s reached over half a million. I still can’t get over it; I never thought we’d be in this position.”

Alongside the single releases, the duo have performed for numerous live audiences including a huge show at the recent Bigsound conference in Brisbane.

When we played at Bigsound we had only had one previous show in Melbourne and that was really fun having our family and friends there just having a really positive atmosphere where everyone was going to support us if we were good or bad. But at Bigsound it was strange playing to mostly industry where if they like it or not they’re not going to show it. There was a lot of dudes with crossed arms at the back of the room so we tried to make our own atmosphere.

We take the long way around, in that we do as much as we can live. There’s a lot in each track we can’t cover but Chloe plays synths and samples all at once and I play an analogue synth that is a workload in itself. We alter the songs and try making the peaks higher and the dips a bit steeper. A bit more shape for the live sound.”

Despite the workload, the duo have finally been able to maximise their musical potential and achieve goals they have been waiting years to attempt.

For me I wanted to make something a bit more poppy, cause I’m in an experimental electronic band as well which is a lot of fun, but I really like pop music as well and I’ve never been able to do that with any of my other projects. I wanted to make something that was a little larger sounding and I think we achieved it. I think Chloe wanted to break out of her acoustic folk background and she’s done that as well.”

Although Chloe hasn’t done much of this stuff before she has a pretty ridiculous ear. Sometimes I try to sneak stuff into the track or work on it on my own a little bit and she will pick it up on first listen. She’s pretty crazy.”

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