It wasn’t until recently when Norwegian-American singer-songwriter and actress Okay Kaya broke big when her song “Mother Nature’s Bitch” went viral on sites like TikTok. But three years after that song’s release, Kaya has an astounding five albums under her name, with the latest release, 2022’s SAP, widening her scope creatively and musically. And after touring Europe in support of the new album, she’s taking her realm of gooey and childlike wonder to the US for a new spring tour beginning this April.
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More than previous releases, SAP is almost entirely composed of collaborations, where Kaya sings and plays alongside friends she personally invited when recording the new conceptual album. “Jazzercise” is one of the few tracks to feature Kaya by herself, complete with introspective yet comical lyrics contributing to the 80s infomercial aesthetic. A drowned-out guitar and softer vocals in the song’s latter half make room to showcase Kaya’s spectrum of vocal pitches. It’s also a song that perfectly captures how Kaya views her own music, where she repeats, “I make stupid songs from now on / I wanna have fun, I wanna have fun.”
On the opposite end, “Spinal Tap” features Deem Spencer and Michael Wolever, who pair well with Okay Kaya off their shared remedial energy for easy living. Deep, androgynous vocals on top of a smooth electronic beat add to the mellow vibe, contrasted by the wonderfully weird music video filmed entirely through gelatinous claymation.
“Jolene From Her Own Perspective” has a similar video that instead visualizes Kaya’s take on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” in jelly form. Unrestricted by her humor, Kaya takes multiple directions on the album that exemplify how extensive she is as an artist. “Inside of a Plum” soars in the dreamlike space odyssey of the instrumental, utilizing faint strings playing underneath the woozy wall of vocals from Kaya. Similarly, “Pearl Gurl” is straightforward in its approach but still offers a cornucopia of soft, spacey sounds that make you feel like you’re inside a jellyfish.
All throughout, the colorful and vibrant lyricism highlights Wilkins’ eclectic nature through her electric and slightly sedated eccentricity. If you aren’t already familiar with her wispy whispering and offbeat music, SAP will be sure to lure listeners in through pure intrigue.
Words: David Sosa
Tickets to her US Tour, including an LA date for April 28 at The Fonda Theatre and an Orange Country date at the Constellation Room for April 29 are available now. For more on Okay Kaya and her new album SAP, visit her on Instagram, Twitter, and her website.
US TOUR DATES:
April 24th – Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall
April 25th – Seattle, WA @ Belltown Bloom
April 27th – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
April 28th – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
April 29th – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
May 2 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
May 3 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
May 4 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
May 6 – Washington, DC @ The Howard
May 9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (Early Show)
May 9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (Late Show)