Kavya Trehan is a New Delhi based multi-talented artist. Aside from collaborating with many Indian artists to create music, she has also dabbled in films and television. With her band, MOSKO, Kavya released the acclaimed EP, “Teeth” in January of 2019. She has also been working on her solo work and has released critically acclaimed singles Underscore and Golden. All the songs of her solo effort have been developed with the help of guitar parts and trusty voice notes. Kavya is all set to release her EP “Know Me Better” later this year. Before that, she has another treat for us in the form of her latest single “Quin”, and that’s the song we are reviewing here.
“Quin” was recorded in a single take to capture the raw vulnerability of an improvised approach. The song revolves around the importance of self-love and nurturing oneself. According to Kavya: “To know when to put your guard down, and surrender to simple apologies is an instant weight off one’s shoulders. What better way to do this than to be one’s own example?”. When you listen to “Quin”, you can hear Kavya exploring her own vulnerabilities. This deep self-reflection is manifested into a track where Kavya apologizes to herself for being too tough and over analytical of herself while growing up. From hypnotic electronic thumps to warbly psychedelia, Kavya’s “Quin” reminds us that what makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.
Kavya’s vocal performance on this track is so good that it’s hard to believe that it was all recorded in one take. It does have a slightly raw, improvised vibe to it, but if she didn’t tell us that she recorded it in one take, we might not have been able to pinpoint that out. Her vocal lines are very nicely layered to create that space-y, dreamy feel. “Quin” is Kavya’s journey within her own mind and the song’s atmosphere definitely makes you feel like she has brought you along for the ride.
As a composition, “Quin” can be broadly divided into two parts, the slower, softer introductory part which is devoid of any drums and is driven rhythmically by a haunting keyboard melody. Around the two minute mark is when the beat drops and while it might not be as epic as Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”, it’s still excellent. Even though the two parts of the song are so different dynamically, they don’t feel haphazardly put together like Frankenstein’s Monster. Props to the songwriting skills of Kavya to make the parts flow into each other so well.
The highlight of “Quin” is definitely the carefree structural approach that Kavya has taken while writing it. She is an innovative songwriter who has eschewed conventional structures for something fresh and exciting. It’s brilliant because it works.
“Quin” also has a fantastic music video that does a perfect job of capturing the eccentric melancholia of the track. Rapidly changing aspect ratios and colour grading make “Quin” a song that you don’t just have to listen, but one you also have to watch.
Verdict: Eccentric and exquisite, with a remarkable music video.