KAYLS sticks to her alt-pop guns on debut EP ‘Modern Savages’


It’s been a rough time for working on pre-written material in 2017 and 2018. Not only did Speedy Ortiz just divulge that their forthcoming album Twerp Verse had a prior version that was scrapped, but pop up-and-comer KAYLS had to rip her initial EP apart at the seams, too.

When you pop in her EP Modern Savages, know this — even after the remake, it barely fits the Los Angeles singer anymore.

“Even this EP is teetering on the edge of my past,” KAYLS tells Vanyaland. “Life moves quickly and I feel like people’s attention spans move even quicker these days.”

Yet another commentary on our culture — although this one errs more towards consumerism and less towards conservatism — KAYLS machetes through life in L.A. on the EP with songs like “Champagne Lover,” a fuzzy ballad about excess, and “Porcelain,” an adequately delicate but sharp-tongued critique of her mistreatment from men in the music industry.

“I chose Modern Savages as the EP title because it’s a social commentary piece and I felt like it wrapped up my message in one [phrase],” KAYLS explains. “There’s a line in the song ‘Modern Savages’ that says ‘What can you give me that money can’t buy?’ Don’t get me wrong, I love designers and fashion and going to nice dinners, but I’m more interested in human connection and the welfare of the world.” 

And such, when she initially recorded an entire album of assembly-line bubblegum pop with a crew of Californians who insisted she was on track to be the next stadium megastar, she entirely tossed the LP in the trash and started from alt-pop scratch; compromising her artistic integrity for a life of glitzted-out fortune wasn’t an option.

“Anytime something goes wrong, there’s always that disappointment and maybe a small burst of depression/confusion,” she adds. “But as upsetting as it was, even if simply because of all the time I put into it, I knew it wasn’t right. I didn’t let it get me too down, I just kept moving forward. The project was taking much longer than anticipated, due to unforeseen events, so by the time we were almost finished I had evolved so much as a person and artist that I didn’t really resonate with the songs as much anymore. None of those songs are on this EP. There are a few of them that I am holding onto in my back pocket to re-do and put out some day, but as artists do, I’m constantly creating.”