Indie pop artist khai dreams has released a fascinating album Now and Then. Now and Then spectacularly showcases khai’s many talents. The album is amazing and includes elements from all of his tracks. He is known for his bedroom pop and Indie songs, with over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify. His top tracks have reached over 20 million listens on the platform. After his growth, in October 2019, the album Now and Then released with a total of 7 tracks.
“Sunkissed,” released in August 2019, was put out as an introduction and “preview” to the album. “Sunkissed” matches the style of his old songs as well as new songs, mixing the tones and bringing something new and older fans can enjoy. The likable guitar melody and a collection of percussions add to the positive songwriting and make great additions to the song. The track has an overall upbeat feeling, with the major scale notes in his voice as well as the instruments. The chorus repeatedly sings, “You’re so lovely,” bringing a heartwarming vibe to the song.
“Untangled” is an upbeat pop-rock song, as well as the second track of the album. “Untangled” contains an enjoyable collection of percussions and a fantastic electric guitar layered beneath the beats. The song builds up to the finale which discards the unique rock theme and replaces it with khai’s standard guitar and ukulele. The song has a strong beat and contains indecisive, somewhat unclear emotions within the lyrics.
“Sandals,” the third track of the album, begins with a pleasant guitar solo and it remains throughout the song. “Sandals” has an amusing upbeat style, the word “love” is consistantly echoed throughout the song. The song falls under the surf rock genre and has a summer-like tone, containing a rhythmic soft percussion. “Sandals” is an entertaining track that is enjoyable to listen to. The song contains a joyous theme about commitment and emotional changes. Khai shows the emotional theme through his lyrics, “I love you more each day / It’s just a situation / Won’t let it get between what we want.”
“Find Out” is the fourth track, immediately beginning with “You’ve been on my mind as of late / I think that I’m in love, but I don’t know if my heart’s leading astray.” Continuing the falling-in-love theme, khai brings the emotions of the confusion of love and figuring it out within the cheerful tone. The song has a cheery and optimistic beat, making the listening experience enjoyable. “Find Out” has a pop-rock theme, similar to his other track “Untangled.” Khai showcases his phenomenal multi-talents powerfully within this song, the song comprises an electric guitar and percussion instruments on every beat.
“Smokescreen” follows next, with a much softer feel as well as a slower tempo. In contrary to his songs previously shown on the album, khai takes a much slower and much more negative emotional approach to this song. The song begins with a piano underneath a ukulele. The song remains soft throughout the beginning, but adds a beat and picks up the tempo, going in and out of the two themes. khai opens the song and ends the piece with, “Everyday I see you clearly through a smokescreen / Everyday I see you but I’d rather not,” giving off a saddening emotion, contrasting with the rest of the album. Despite the saddening feel, the song is still very much likable.
khai’s next to last song, “Brand New,” has the opposite feel of the last piece, “Smokescreen”. He continuously echoes the expression, “I feel brand new,” giving the listener a refreshing emotion. khai brings much more breath into his voice, contributing to the relieving emotion portrayed in the song. “Brand New” is reassuring from the last song, “Smokescreen,” which portrayed stress, “Brand New” has the opposite, relieving feeling.
khai wraps up the album with the song, “(She’s Already) In my Head.” Compared to the other songs, this does not portray a studio-recorded feel but a more personal and sentimental feeling. The piece reassures most things don’t go as people once planned and life still holds surprises. He continuously repeats “Don’t you know,” followed by phrases such as, “life doesn’t go as planned,” and “nothing stays the same.” khai portrays beautiful harmonies accompanied by a ukulele. He wraps up his album with the echoes of “She’s already in my head / In my head / And I won’t forget what she said.”
khai dreams appeals to younger audiences, such as teens or young adults. khai’s tracks on Now and Then are catchy and have a solid beat. All of the tracks will be stuck in listeners’ heads for many days and surely plenty of people will catch themselves bopping to them. Now and Then is magnificent and worth the listen.