Premiere: It’s ‘getting better’ for KHAOS EMRLD: a glittering hyperactive pop blast debut that positively sparkles.

Feature Photograph: @yogapunkphotography

KHAOS EMRLD is a new kid on the block – sort of – and an absolute challenge for spell check. We are honoured to premiere KHAOS EMRLD’s debut single ‘getting better’ – a solo project helmed by Cody Stebbings whom we’ve met before in the band Down For Tomorrow – and it’s a blast of sweet dynamic pop that reverberates with fizz and attitude.

A deeply personal entrée to the world for KHAOS EMRLD, the track is an exploration of resilience in the face of adversity with the music skipping and hopping across a pattering percussion, ebbing and flowing underneath a smash between heavy guitars and light popping synths. Stebbings’s vocals are urgent and expressive, slightly inflected with a vocoder edge, as he sings:

I depend on everybody but myself
To feel like I belong
But every time I try to move on from it
Another year goes
Am I ever getting better at all?

Stebbings says of the track:

‘getting better’ was written in July 2022, after I had spent several months in an endless feedback loop of feeling bad about myself and feeling like I was pulling everyone down with me. There were many events that changed the pathway of my life, yet I hadn’t done anything to benefit from them. Suddenly, I realised half a year had gone by and I felt like I was exactly where I’d started. The song is a mix of rage and derision, written in a genre I was just getting familiar with around the time, and funnily enough, became the start of an upward trajectory which led me to where I am now.

The music is transformative and powerful, the feelings expressed universal as we all deal with demons and try to cope with the vicissitudes of life. This is an anthemic paean to survival and resilience in a pop punk electro blast.

The accompanying video is an expressive, dynamic performance piece filmed by Gabrielle Michael and Sarah Bonnet with Stebbings, and edited by Max Pasalic from BESTIES, with Stebbings a central figure in an overwhelming urban environment:

Co-produced by Stebbings himself alongside Lachlan Cronin and Josh Clarke, ‘getting better’ is out on Thursday, 11 May and you can pre-order here. I’m certainly looking forward to more from this innovative artist.

Feature Photograph: @yogapunkphotography

Previous Track: HighSchool are back with the gothic electro thrum of ‘Colt’ - a thrilling seismic sonic defibrillator. UK tour commences now and new EP is on the way.
Next Premiere: Naarm/Melbourne's Kitschen Boy unveil 'Close Friends' - a shimmering antipodean indie pop jewel. Tour news also announced.

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