There are many routes to fame and world cultural dominance, especially in today’s music business—so if new and exceptionally interesting L.A. band Kan Wakan are now being touted as playing “the song from HBO’s new promo,” then, well, good for them.
Like a growing number of creative artists who can’t easily be slotted into a particular style or radio format, Kan Wakan aren’t easily defined. Essentially a trio consisting of composer/multi-instrumentalist Gueorgui I. Linev, singer Kristianne Bautista and producer/guitarist Peter Potyondy, the group plays sophisticated, moody tunes with lush arrangements that might be likened to a 21st Century take on the Gil Evans-produced records the group’s label, Verve Records, released in the ‘60s. Dreamy, intricate stuff worth repeated re-hearings.
Linev has noted that the band—which derives its name from Tagalog—was initially going to be a small orchestral ensemble but in time the need for a vocalist became evident. And singer Bautista was the perfect fit. With significant airplay on local tastemaker station KCRW, inevitable song placements, and a growing buzz on the upcoming album—due now in June—the group is positioned to break big in 2014.
In Austin, we were pleased to catch Kan Wakan at 10am Saturday morning—the closing day of this year’s South By Southwest fest—for an early morning session that was, as expected, impeccably tasteful and a fine preview of what we can expect when Moving On finally hits the streets.