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Krost crafts a melancholic dance anthem on the upbeat “On the Vine”

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In a perfect world, more people would know about Anaheim-based singer-songwriter Krost (Kristen Lee). 

Krost – “On the Vine” single artwork

A quick browse through her Bandcamp and YouTube channels reveal snippets of a singer who has a ridiculously keen ear for songwriting and melancholic melodies. Though she’s already proven that she can cover artists ranging from pop to electronic to indie rock, Lee and her lively guitar loops transform each cover into something uniquely her own. Soon, all of that genre-melding practice led her to the release of her first album, Doldrums, back in 2017. 

Doldrums‘s mellow atmosphere, which combined Lee’s haunting Julien Baker-like vocals with light electronic production, is the kind of album that indie record labels should be paying attention to. Unlike most first releases that I’ve heard, Doldrums portrayed Lee as a confident DIY musician who’s undeniably comfortable with her sound. It’s a shame that the album so strangely flew under the radar–it should’ve blown up in the way that Baker’s Sprained Ankle did back in the day. But that hasn’t stopped Lee. Next month, she plans to return with Feel Alive EP, a project that discovers “what it means to feel alive, depicting self-reflection as a necessary but often uncomfortable aspect of self-care”.

“On the Vine,” the first single off of the EP, signals a change in Krost’s sound. Landing somewhere in the realm of indie-pop in lieu of what she’s done in the past, “On the Vine” finds Lee switching out some of her omnipresent guitar pedals for minimalist beats that sound heavily inspired by the xx. “I don’t really want to die / But if I do / I hope it’s a great big surprise,” she repeats, creating a mantra that is wrapped up in an impending sense of doom. Dancey, glimmering, and icy, “On the Vine” absolves her conflicting feelings about a dying relationship and channels it through an upbeat song. We’re excited to see what comes next.

Feel Alive EP will be released in November.

Artist pages: Bandcamp | YouTube

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Li-Wei Chu

Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think. He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.

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