Last Friday was release day for Thanya Iyer! The exploratory new album KIND is available now on three special vinyl variants, CD, and cassette.
For those just hearing about Thanya for the first time, Thanya Iyer is the name of the band fronted by Thanya Iyer the person, based out of Montreal. Their sound has been described as future-folk, improvizational jazz pop, and even ambient, but the one constant is the constantly evolving nature of the band's sound.
KIND, Thanya Iyer's sophomore release, explores crucial questions around healing, cultural identity, and disability, among other subjects. To aid in this journey of big, difficult questions, Iyer enlists the help of a huge cast of musicians, with guest features ranging from brass trios, vocal sextets, flautists, and harpists The band expertly melds the sounds of experimental pop and improv into a magical amalgam that teems with flashes of jazz and nuanced electronics. The rhythm section, built on Alexander Kasirer-Smibert and Daniel Gélinas's understated expertise, pulsates with genre-defying palettes of blips and skitters that twist elegantly into the melodic voices of interlocking synth, strings, and piano, all led by Iyer's enrapturing lilt.
The most succinct distillation of the album's themes is best exemplified in KIND's tracklist. "Please Don't Hold Me Hostage for Who I Am, Who I Was" and "Bring Back That Which is Kind to You" inspire philosophies of self-care and emergent reconfigurations of justice, calling on listeners to self-reflect and detach from our preconceptions of ourselves and our identity. At the end of its course, KIND arrives at the conclusion of acceptance and resolve: acceptance of our collective circumstance, and the resolve to make the choice to do better.
Pitchfork described the album as "a lucid daydream that’s constantly melting at its edges." Above all, KIND is an album that explores an expansive universe where Iyer and her band examine interpersonal relationships, ideas of home and destination, and our collective responsibilities to one another.
"KIND is about the changes we go through and the lessons we learn throughout our life..Finding yourself — learning to be kind to yourself and others around you — the complexity and many dimensions of humankind. At first I thought this was a story about getting from one place to another — and the second place was a “good” spot to be in, happier, or better. But upon the culmination of KIND, I realized that journeys aren’t so straightforward. They’re filled with setbacks, struggle, loss, joys — like changing tides. We just have to keep going through all the highs and lows with our full presence, because it's about the process. At the root of it all is kindness. Gather your friends and your community and build something beautiful." - Thanya Iyer as quoted in The Fader
"[...] a lovely set of expansive, exploratory, earthy pop that's characterized by spacious jazz and ethereal folk tendencies as well as a subtle experimental and improvisatory streak." - KEXP
"With KIND, it’s hard to separate the psych, ambient, electro-pop, soul and jazz elements from one another, but that’s part of its appeal. Time signatures are fluid, and electronic and classical instruments exist in harmony. Much like the lyrics, the music deliberately defies categorization, and that defiance reflects a humanity that is deeply nuanced, collectivistic and forward-thinking." - Paste
"Fall into the lyrical lull and this record will elevate you to another level. Intricate, wistful, observant and beautiful." - Circuit Sweet
Order your copy of the album today and check out the accompanying visual album.