KASHKA - Orinoco EP
Label : Play The Triangle
Credits : Instruments, programming, mixing.
KASHKA is the ongoing folkpoptronica project of Kat Burns.
The creative process started in Parkdale, a west-end neighbourhood of Toronto. Kat had recently dissolved her former band (Forest City Lovers) and was determined to rise out of the ashes. Without a clear direction to take, she spent some time exploring new sounds and songwriting styles, which led to a collaboration with longtime friend and producer James Bunton (Light Fires, Ohbijou, Evening Hymns). She found her new direction, and KASHKA was born.
The resulting album was 2012’s Vichada, which was met with praise and pushed her new sound, coined ‘folkpoptronica’, out onto the road with tours in North America and Europe. Soon afterwards, she began working on her follow up, with producer Leon Taheny (Rituals, Dusted).
After a rough start on what would become Bound, Burns and Taheny took almost six months off from working on the record. They scrapped a number of songs and redid nearly everything from scratch. Burns took off to Poland to retrace her heritage and be mentored by a Polish folk orchestra and, while learning about mountain music and ancient instruments, she penned a number of new songs. Demo recordings filled up her iPad and lyrics spilled out of her worn notebooks. Upon returning home, she and Taheny had a new outlook on the record and went back to work.
The resulting collection of songs traverse an emotional landscape, where memorable melodies flow amongst a mixture of organic and electronic sounds. “Never Had It” is a straight-up Dear John letter never sent, pulsing along to a minimal beat until kicking into high gear for the chorus. “Grain of Salt” is an upbeat pop song about needing space, and “We Let The Shadow In” is a driving, dark song that showcases the gritty vocals of Neil Haverty (Bruce Peninsula). Midway through the record we hear “Gibraltar”, with cinematic string arrangements and images of secret meeting places. The album closes with the eerie “Bloodlines,” which trods through family lineage and thick synths.