Kai Bosch's woozy latest track 'Tulips' gives a heartfelt depiction of the give and pull in a flailing relationship.
Armed with an artillery of sincere vocals and heartfelt lyrcisicm, alt-pop artist Kai Bosch has cruised onto the music scene to great appraisal. With a musical style that has previously been compared to the likes of James Blake, Kai’s discography is a richly emotive blend of subtly undulating electric beats, soft percussive elements and, of course, his own distinctive crooning voice.
His latest track ‘Tulips’ has the same reminiscent quality as a faded Polaroid image. As Kai explains in a press release, “‘Tulips’ is about the realisation that you have nothing left to give to a relationship; it’s a bittersweet feeling of optimism and hope for the future while also feeling a pang of regret that things aren’t the way they once were”. Written towards the end of a stint living with his now ex-boyfriend, the track rides in on a gentle yet sonically charged electric beat, paired with the steady rhythm of a muted drum. Layer Kai’s haunting vocals on top and you have a track that seamlessly blends nostalgia with mourning.
The track’s floral namesake is appropriately romantic in its connotations of life and beauty, but the meaning of the title goes deeper than that. Kai explains that the name was inspired by the opening and closing of a tulip between sunrise and sunset, likening this to “the constant give and take within this relationship”. There’s a definite semblance of this in the way the song has been pieced together: it sways towards melancholy before falling into the open arms of a soulful and catchy chorus. You’ll find yourself tapping your feet even as you try to fight off teary thoughts about your ex.
Kai originally hails from the small seaside village of Polzeath, Cornwall, a town he remembers as being “very Tory, very close-minded”. Growing up as an openly queer boy with no role models he could see himself reflected in, Kai satiated his hungering for emotional solidarity through the music of artists such as Lana Del Ray and Lorde. It was these musicians who offered him a space in which to open himself up to vulnerability, and who went on to influence his song-writing. “From then on, music really became the only thing that helped me cope and escape”, he says. “I think someone like Lana probably resonated with me because I wasn’t very happy at the time. I’d listen to her and get to be in my own world.”
Aged just 17, Kai tracked a one-way route to Berlin, and the influence of Europe’s notorious electro-club hothouse is evident in the artist’s woozy yet sonically charged musical flair. ‘Tulips’ is a song that aches with the weight of its soul-searching reflections, even whilst it pulls you into the beat.
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