- 04 Mar 22
Chicago-raised R&B artist KAINA excels on sophomore effort.
Back with the follow up to 2019 debut LP Next To The Sun, KAINA’s sound remains as mature, warm and soulful as ever. Infusing her Guatemalan and Venezuelan roots throughout, the Chicago-born act explores love in all its forms, community, identity and family on It Was A Home. Lead single ‘Anyone Can Be In Love’ explores trust issues that come with romantic connections while psychedelic odyssey ‘Apple’ features soaring synth-led choruses and progressive pop. Kaina Castillo’s journey of self-discovery and personal growth is told through funk riffs and vibrant melodies.
Changing the pace, ‘Ultraviolet’ has a distinctively darker edge to it. Rock-influenced guitar riffs underlie KAINA’s soft but powerful vocals, thanks to Sleater-Kinney’s input. Jazz takes over on the lovely ‘Blue’ feat. Helado Negro, while ‘Come Back As A Flower’ makes use of tropical background synths for a lullaby-like effect. Sen Morimoto adds a new flavour to the wholesome R&B tones on ‘Good Feeling’, but ‘Casita’ is an absolute highlight. Sparkling disco synths, Spanish lyrics buried in the chorus and KAINA’s hope of holding her family close tell her story perfectly.
The influence of the late “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz and disco singer Donna Summer remain visible, but KAINA’s universal appeal, yearning optimism and unapologetic honesty injects a beautiful sweetness into her work.
Listen: ‘Ultraviolet’ feat. Sleater-Kinney
Out now via Gilded ALM:
Read the Hot Press interview with KAINA in our current issue.