Parisian post-rockers, Lost in Kiev, present their third full-length, Persona, through the welcoming arms of record label, Pelagic, which will, if there is any justice, crack open the band’s exposure to an entirely new and larger audience. This album hurtles through all types of different dimensions while exploring and examining the human relation to artificial intelligence (AI). The opening combination of the title track and “Lifelooper” does a masterful job of grabbing the listener’s attention and setting us up for what is to come throughout the first half of the record.
“The Incomplete” is a standout track here as it’s seemingly casual yet technical build over the top of layered synths makes for outstanding listening with the band positively bursting at the seams at the 3:40 mark of the song. In a bit of a twist on the title, this might be the single most complete representation of the band’s abilities pulling listeners into their ethereal world before settling into a slow dissolve, nearly mechanically induced fade out.
“Mindfiles” is one of the most interesting tracks here as it sees the band working with something of a groove that comes up unexpectedly from the dense fog that is the material presented prior to this. It approaches a sound not unlike Tool in some of its elements but gravitates more to a straight forward display that almost seems like the “angriest” or most raw uet direct track the band offers us.
“Psyche” offers us a track with a sinewy build that continues adding layer on top of layer of tension before reaching its pinnacle in the closing moments. It is very reminiscent of something we might hear from 65 Days of Static or, perhaps, sleepmakeswaves. Its partner track, “Thumos”, is a propulsive banger of a song that sees the band form into a cohesive yet swirling mass of sound that delights.
In descriptions of the band the word “suggestive” gets bandied about and mentions of a cinematic nature are given. Both would be accurate for Persona but just that almost feels like overwhelmingly underselling what the band is capable of producing. The narrative arc that underlines this whole album is compelling if you pay attention to the voiceovers that pop up throughout. In notes regarding the structure and subject of the individual songs reveals a deeper pattern of stories in song form exploring our very human interaction with artificial intelligence; a field that is spawning new understandings with each passing day.
From vignettes about Ray Kurzweil wanting to instill an AI with the memories of his deceased father (“Mindfiles”) to a tale of an executive leaving his wife to be consoled by an AI of his creation (“Pygmalion”) and beyond, Lost in Kiev are reaching for something quite interesting here. As you dig through this album, as you should, please seek out a way to both hear and read the scenes this band are setting out to stage. It will be an extremely rewarding proposition for fans of this particular style as well as those who have any vague interest in sci-fi or, simply, our changing humanity as we undeniably evolve alongside technology.
Persona will be released on April 26th but you can pre-order it now here.