Pastoral synthesizer landscapist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
broke out last year with Ears, an acclaimed set of Terry Riley-esque
gurgles and flutters, using noise to evoke nature. On her sixth LP, The
Kid, a concept album about the human life cycle, she paints an even
lusher world using cosmic swoops, squelches and lots of her highly processed
vocals. Sounds don’t align with the rhythms, and Smith’s voice is awash in
alien echoes. But as challenging as this avant-garde music is, it’s also warm,
absorbing and gorgeous.