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Kylie V - Big Blue

BC: Top 10 of 2021

by Sean Orr

Emo-folk phenom Kylie V once tweeted that they “make music for people who also listened to Neutral Milk Hotel in 7th grade.” It’s a perfect, albeit cynical, description of the 17-year-old’s ambitious and grandiose debut full-length, Big Blue. Yearning and cautiously optimistic, it’s breathtaking in its sincerity and sophistication. Featuring an all-star cast of Vancouver musicians including Tegan Wahlgren, multi-instrumentalist Harley Small, Peach Pit’s Christopher Vanderkooy, and members of Sleepy Gonzales, Big Blue glistens like a frosty midwestern sunrise from cinematic start to exultant finish.

Bo Burnham’s transcendent comedy special isn’t the only great piece of COVID-adjacent art titled Inside released this year. The indie-rock quintet’s latest opens and closes with the sounds of the 7pm clanging pots and pans that once heralded the essential workers, and many of the tracks find them grappling with introspective thoughts while trapped in a room – being stuck inside one’s own head being an even worse fate than the physical boundaries.