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Kayo Dot stream brand new album

Kayo Dot Coffins

I’m going to come right out and say it: Kayo Dot are one hell of an incredibly forward thinking band. Their brand of experimental progressive rock/whatever is unlike any other.

For those unfamiliar,the band was formed by multi-instrumentalist Toby Driver from the ashes of avant-garde metal group Maudlin of the Well. The difference between the two bands is fairly negligible really, with the only actual difference being that Kayo Dot have had a more revolving cast of members – hence the renaming of the project.

Both bands have utilized a wide variety of influences in their music, from jazz, psychedelic rock, and chamber music to black metal, and death metal. Choirs of the Eye is generally considered a masterpiece, and I am still sad that I cannot find my copy of that release, which was signed by Toby Driver himself at the tiny show they played here in Vancouver two years ago.

Kayo Dot’s newest album, Coffins on Io, was released just this past week, and is available for streaming on Bandcamp for your listening pleasure:

And what a pleasure it truly is. For a band that is generally lauded as “forward thinking” – and have been thinking forward for six albums now – they have done the only logical thing and thought backwards for this, their seventh album.

Coffins on Io does manage to be forward looking, but from the perspective of the 80s rather than now. This is by no means a bad thing; the atmosphere would be right at home on the Blade Runner soundtrack

Neither have the band compromised themselves for the sake of “retro”; they simply seem to have found a true fascination with this sound and decided to explore it. Opening epic “The Mortality of Doves” wanders slowly through the kinds of empty corridors that are seen in 80s cyberpunk films, and Driver’s breathy falsettos are quite beautiful. “Library Subterranean” ends up sinking further and further into a strange madness, twisting and turning, all while being supported by some stellar drum work. Out of the turbulence, a saxophone calls to you, inviting you further into this network of drugs and neon.

Coffins on Io is a fantastic listen, and I urge any of you to give it a chance.

Kevin writer banner Jan 2014