Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith composes bright, fluid soundscapes on a variety of synthesizers, most notably the Buchla Music Easel. Excited by the endless possibilities of electronic instruments, her music is filled with vivid, expressive melodies along with her warped, ethereal vocals. In addition to her own acclaimed albums, such as 2017′s The Kid, Smith collaborated with electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani on the 2016 full-length Sunergy.
Smith grew up on the serene, peaceful Orcas Island in northwest Washington, and attended the Berklee College of Music in order to study composition and sound engineering. She started out as a vocalist before taking up classical guitar and piano, and formed an indie folk project called Ever Isles. After moving back to Orcas Island, she became obsessed with creating electronic music when a neighbor lent her a Buchla 100 synthesizer, and she began recording calm ambient soundscapes inspired by nature. Following the release of a few of these recordings online, Smith signed with Austin label Western Vinyl and issued the digital-only album Tides in early 2014. This was followed in early 2015 by her first physically released album, Euclid, an adventurous, playful LP with much more of a pop focus than any of her previous works. Later in the year, Smith worked on Panda Bear’s “Boys Latin” music video and composed music for Reggie Watts’ short film Brasilia: City of the Future.
Smith’s next full-length, Ears, arrived in April 2016. Slightly darker than Euclid, the album featured an increased presence of vocals as well as woodwind arrangements. Following the album’s release, Smith opened for Animal Collective during their spring North American tour. She then collaborated with new age pioneer Suzanne Ciani for the 13th volume of Rvng Intl.’s Frkwys series, Sunergy. A cover of Sade’s “By Your Side” appeared in early 2017. This preceded The Kid, Smith’s most accessible album yet, which featured acoustic instrumentation by the Berlin-based ensemble Stargaze. A 22-minute piece titled “Abstractions,” inspired by Harry Everett Smith’s Early Abstractions films, was released in 2018. Tides: Music for Meditation and Yoga, recorded in 2013 for Smith’s mother to play during her yoga classes, was issued in 2019. The Mosaic of Transformation, inspired by unbound wave phenomena and the physical power of electricity, was released by Ghostly International in 2020. ~ Paul Simpson