By the sound of “Internet,” the latest single and video from singer-songwriter Kayls’ debut EP, Jasmine, you wouldn’t have guessed she began making music on old technology. Long before the midwest-raised artist decided to switch gears from fashion design to music, Kayla Stewart recorded her songs using a vintage multitrack recorder that belonged to her grandfather, a guitarist who performed in the 60s for artists like Dolly Parton.

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Unlike her grandfather, Kayls finds herself making music much more modern in tone and approach. Marking her second release after a three-year hiatus, “Internet” relates to those who’ve dealt with the perils of being chronically online while giving air space for Stewart to show her vocal talents.

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Populated only by electronic drones and drums, which briefly come into play, Stewart spends the runtime singing about her own experiences that distinguish “Internet” from sounding like similar tracks. Not holding back on the lyrics, she focuses on herself with the kind of honesty that might be embarrassing for some to admit. But when Stewart sings lines such as “Mouthing the words to a meme” and “I’ve seen 13 girls make their beds this morning,” it comes off as a realization that others who’ve similarly spent too much time online can relate to.

Though her music, as of now, has been a solo endeavor, that hasn’t stopped Stewart from getting her family involved in any way she can. For the music video, she had help from her sister and her mom, which they filmed at a lake they visit often. The call for going out into the world couldn’t be more clear, with Stewart walking in the forest surrounded only by tall trees and eventually walking out into the water, leaving behind virtual living.

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It’s a fitting setting for a song all about limiting your time on the Internet. And for as personal as the song may be, Stewart’s concerns extend to everyone. “My new song ‘Internet’ zooms in on the negative effects of this societal shift; being one with the internet,” she said. “This song comes at a time when it’s incredibly important to consciously balance our human and artificial interactions on a daily basis.” Whether she’s balancing her human and artificial interactions, she’s undoubtedly balancing herself on a simple, straightforward approach to music that could translate well to a relatable EP.

Words: David Sosa

“Internet” by Kayls is out on all streaming services. For more on new music and her upcoming EP, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

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