Austin-based, Armenian-American artist Kae Astra is a compelling rarity in the modern music sphere for all manner of reasons. Her music, thought-provoking, cinematic and at times meditative, conjures all manner of emotion, drawing inspiration from iconically recognisable themes from across the decades without heavily relying on any particular one, and thus imbuing an almost Björk-esque distinction.
Speaking of cinematic, her first effort of the year sees her transfer her otherwordly, lucid and understatedly empowering single "Grow" into the visual space, and displays an attention-commanding dimension to her artistry. "'Grow' is about consciously choosing personal growth over continuing to be a victim. At the core of the song, it’s about forgiveness and well … growth," she shares in a statement.
Subtly perpetuating the lyricism of the track, the visual delivers a parallel narrative in which Kae, the protagonist, slowly has her perspective changed from themes of discontentment and isolation to an artfully executed personally affirming epiphany through a series of striking encounters.
"We shot the video in the beautiful Vazquez Rocks Natural Area Park outside of LA," she continues in the same statement. "We wanted an environment that looked ancient and timeless at the same time, and this was the perfect place for that. It feels like the desert, but the rocks give it this beautiful permanence that reflects how I view individuals who have had to heal themselves from traumatic journeys."
Her coalescence of dreamy, left of centre production and emotively soaring vocal dutifully intersects with the mesmeric visual, each of which would be easy to get lost in, but together, it's truly something to behold. Kae concludes, "A therapist once told me, as I sat crying in her office, my tears puddling on her floor, “life is suffering.” She kept repeating it over and over because I didn’t want to accept the notion that life wasn’t “fair.” I wanted to hold onto the pain. The music video for “Grow” reflects this theme of the song as our hero tries to find something different again and again but keeps finding herself bound up and restricted until she realizes that when she sees herself beyond the trauma, she will be set free. "
"GROW" is available now via Modern Outsider Records.