Kyla La Grange

  • Date: Mon 24th October 2022
  • Doors Open: 7:00 pm
  • Supported By: Lindsay Munroe
  • On Sale: Tickets Open

Kyla La Grange’s third album, While Your Heart’s Still Beating, is an
unflinching coming-of-age confessional that explores the tension between
youth and adulthood for a generation stuck in suspended adolescence. With
extraordinary dexterity, La Grange has created a piece of work that feels epic
in scope and subject matter with a startlingly raw, unflinching intimacy at its
core, and emerges as her most accomplished songwriting yet.
Opener ‘Neverland’ plays like an anthem for the lost millennial: a beautifully
crafted slice of alt-pop that crests on the euphoria and subsequent sadness
of a night out (‘But I’m still staring in the mirror at 3am/ Sad to wash the

glitter off’) before plunging the listener into a late-night reflection on self-
worth and anxiety. It captures a wide-eyed hunger for life set against the

terror of acknowledging youth’s transience (‘When your memories are fading/
This one will be phosphorescent, still alight’). We are invited to bear witness
to some of La Grange’s innermost thoughts and a theme fundamental to the
album: the fear that she’ll look back one day and see a life that wasn’t lived
to its fullest.

“I’ve always been scared of my own mortality: as a child I often couldn’t
sleep because I would just see the future as a huge black void of
nothingness, and I couldn’t understand how adults were just walking around
perfectly normally, knowing that.” It’s this sense of foreboding that means La
Grange is constantly compelling herself to soak up every experience, to
taste, see and hear everything, while also picking herself apart for what she
perceives to be her failings. On ‘Something Special’ she derides herself (‘You
just wanted to be something special, didn’t you?/ You just wanted to win all
the medals didn’t you?’) while ‘Lucky’ finds her urging herself to acknowledge
her good fortune (And I keep thinking, what a waste of a life/ You’re so lucky,
my god’).
Sonically, While Your Heart’s Still Beating melds electronics seamlessly with
organic textures: mournful electric guitars weave through analog synths and
drum machines, creating a tapestry of sound that feels nostalgic and modern
simultaneously. La Grange produced and recorded the tracks in Hackney with
Liam Howe (FKA Twigs, Lana del Rey), long-time bandmate Alessio Ippolito
and Cornwall with Mr BJ Jackson. She still writes almost everything at home
alone in a small box room, where she feels most comfortable.
La Grange’s exceptional ability to articulate nuance and ambivalence is
showcased by lyrics that flip from self-excoriating to belligerent, and her
willingness to delve into subjects like her childhood, her connection with her
parents and her past relationships demonstrates her no-holds-barred
approach to songwriting. The result is a stark honesty that is rarely seen in
pop music: In ‘Nurture’ she traces a narrative line through all of her major
relationships, starting with her parents right up into the present day (‘And
now I’m all grown, moving to a new home/ With the man my heart holds
dearer than anyone/ And I’m a mess, so sure I’m gonna love him less with
every step.)
While Your Heart’s Still Beating is a captivating bildungsroman that is an
evolution from La Grange’s earlier work, though she is no stranger to
metamorphosis: From the embers of the ‘savagely passionate, 21st century
torch songs’ of her anthemic goth-folk debut album ‘Ashes’, she re-emerged
with the delicate electro-minimalism of ‘Cut Your Teeth’, before turning her
hand to singles like the brooding trap-inflected ‘Skin’ and the analog 80s
nostalgia of ‘Hummingbird’, a neon-drenched synth pop ode to indecision.
La Grange first started writing songs in her bedroom at fifteen before
venturing out into the open mic circuit in her hometown of Watford. After
graduating with a degree in philosophy from Cambridge University, she

continued to play acoustic gigs around Cambridge, London and Watford
while recording demos in studio downtime with producers she met on the
live circuit. Between part-time jobs, she messaged record execs, managers
and promoters on Myspace and found a home for her pop-folk/indie-rock
playing London’s Communion and Chess Club nights, going on to release
four singles through Chess Club, including fan favourite Vampire Smile.
Her debut album, ‘Ashes’ was released through Sony, and was described as
‘a powerhouse of production, tweaked and polished in the studio to produce
a Spectre-like wall of sound.’ Sonically, her sophomore record was a dramatic
departure from her first, as showcased by lead single ‘Cut Your Teeth’, which
premiered to widespread acclaim. A crystalline dream of minimal synths and
percussive field-recordings over an unctuous wobbling bassline, the track
made waves across the blogosphere and caught the attention of emerging
DJ Kygo, who ripped the track from Soundcloud and remixed it.
La Grange says, ‘I opened my laptop one morning and all over Twitter there
were people talking about this remix. I love that he just went off and did it
and we didn’t know he was going to, it’s so nice that it happened like that. I
feel like in the music industry these days things don’t often happen in that
kind of spontaneous, unplanned way anymore.’
The Kygo remix was a huge success, and was released as a single by Kyla
and Kygo together. It has since amassed over a hundred and forty million
streams on Spotify alone.
La Grange was asked to tour as a vocalist with legendary British electronica
group Faithless for their 2.0 comeback tour, which saw a run of arena shows
and European festival circuits. She began to release standalone singles in
between Faithless shows, and returned to her own live shows with a renewed
and impressive stage confidence borne from her time spent touring.
Of While Your Heart’s Still Beating, La Grange says, “I wanted to write as
honestly as possible, to create something that took to me to the edge of
where I was comfortable, because those are the part of our minds that we
often try to avoid, but they’re also the parts that really make us who we are.”

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