Kllo makes rare stop in San Diego
On this short tour, the electro-pop outfit is only playing four U.S. cities
Australian cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam grew up together in Melbourne. And while their mothers were close, they were not.
That is, until years later when they were each making music and someone suggested they try working together.
Turns out, Lam’s electronic production was a perfect match for Kaul’s silvery vocals and R&B leanings, and it wasn’t long before Kllo (rhymes with “glow”) was born.
The cousins released EPs in 2014 and 2016, and their full-length debut, Backwater, came out in 2017. Last year saw the release of a pair of new singles, Potential and Candid.
In October, Kaul and Lam returned with the song Back To You, the initial track designated to appear on Kllo’s highly anticipated sophomore album - tentatively set to drop next April.
In the meantime, the pair is back out on the road for a 12-date world tour that includes Russia, four quick stops in the U.S. – Brooklyn, San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego – then back home to Australia.
And even though enough of Kllo’s upcoming album is completed and could even be released sooner than five months from now, that’s just not the way the cousins work anymore.
“We’ve always made music the same way,” Kaul said recently during a day off in Berlin. “But now that we’ve been doing it for a while, we just take more time. We’re more relaxed and confident in that. Before, we’d just put it out and be in panic mode - whereas now, we’re just enjoying the process.”
Part of their enjoyment also comes from the challenge of trying not to repeat themselves. Although they draw from similar sonic elements, each Kllo EP, single and full-length looks to differentiate itself from the last.
“I think a lot of that,” said Kaul, “is that we just get bored if we’re doing the same thing. But we also come from different backgrounds. I’m more from the soul/R&B world and Simon is more from the electronic/UK garage-y side. We’ve always done the lo-fi thing, but we did come a bit cleaner with songs like ‘Candid’ and ‘Potential.’ That said, we’ve come back around again. We’re incorporating all kinds of different genres into the new album.”
Those who make it out to a Kllo show on this short run will hear both Back To You and what Kaul refers to as “a cheeky dance track that’s really fun to play” from the upcoming collection, but not much else.
The pair is still reworking/texturizing some of the new songs and haven’t yet made a decision on whether they’re going to add one additional track to the mix. And for a band that “released every song we ever made on the last record,” these things are not treated lightly.
Either way, Kllo’s current tour wraps up in Australia at the end of the month and, for the most part, it will be all about the new album from then until its release.
Even as Kaul has begun to funnel some of her constant creative ideas into a new venture, she’s been reminded of the special relationship she has in Kllo.
“I’m starting a solo project at the moment,” she said. “I’ve been writing with different people and it definitely makes me realize that Simon and I have something really special. I feel so lucky to have it.”
Kllo with Claire George: 9 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11. Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., Normal Heights. $12 to $15; sodabarmusic.com.
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