Los Angeles-based Kai Exos just released a new single and video, called “Fire & Brew.” The song, about the susceptibility of love, is his first release since his much-praised debut album, Telegraph, which hit the Top 20 in 2015. In only a few days, “Fire & Brew” has collected more than 100,000 views.
Born in Canada and raised in the U.S., the mysterious Exos began playing piano when he was four, performing with a gospel church choir. He started writing songs in grade school. Later, as a teenager, he performed rock covers in a variety of cities, including Chicago and New York City, followed by writing songs for other artists and, eventually, his debut album, which signaled his return to solo performing.
Motown Essence and Gospel Flavors
Stylistically, Exos’ sound merges elements of rock, soul, and R&B into a delicious concoction probably best described as alternative R&B, heavy with a Motown essence and gospel flavors.
“Fire & Brew” rides a lusciously retro R&B melody full of smooth colors and orchestral flavors. A potent groove imbues the tune with flowing dynamics, and the instrumental harmonics coalesce into graceful hues. The glossy melody pivots on the throbbing bassline, while Exos’ velvety, sensuous voice floats above. Shimmering background harmonies infuse the music with crystalline depth and gleaming textures.
The lyrics depict the fragile instability of love when passion and physical attraction wane:
“How’s your day goin? / Well, I been goin in and out early / Are you still mine? / Found me a new someone who / Does things you wouldn’t do / Night #1 of seeing you… / You must’ve knew then / Found me a new someone who / Does things you wouldn’t do / Fire + Brew / The good kind of headline news / These are just words; you are my truth / Say the words, lioness, you / Oh, oh, oh.”
The video, directed by Exos and Indrani, who has worked with mega stars like Beyoncé, David Bowie, and Lady Gaga, utilizes milky sprays of light to expose the previously intense hunger of the now fading hot-blooded bond between the lovers. Indrani says, “We co-created such a natural love story here. The piece is a powerful expression of masculine and feminine energy.”
There’s a tasty stylish energy to “Fire & Brew,” a combination of modern production, mature esthetics and the residual dynamism of polished R&B. The melody is suavely charming and Kai Exos’ voice glows with silky sultry quixotic colors. “Fire & Brew” definitely deserves your attention.