Laid-back and perfectionist don’t usually sound right together but when it comes to cousins Chloe and Simon, it makes perfect sense.
When you’re a relatively young musical duo, who’s already played Splendour in the Grass twice, Primavera Sound and copped millions of listens on Spotify, you’re probably excused if you start to think pretty highly of yourself. But not Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam. They’re still excited about the fresh towels backstage.
In order to stay well clear of the over recycled cliches of ‘ones to watch,’ and ‘up-and-comers,’ we’ll just say that their new EP, Well Worn, is damn good and we see some big things for them in the near future. Kaul and Lam are incredibly laid-back in person, but that appears to stop when they get in the studio. Kaul describes the two as perfectionists, which makes sense when you learn their song Walls to Build was the biggest pebble in their shoe, taking them 28 versions before settling on the one you hear today.
The fact that Kllo even exists today is possibly thanks to both their mums, Kaul explains. “I was going down the folky road and Simon was studying sound engineering at the time. And then our mums thought that we should both get together. Simon was doing electronic music and he changed the folk songs I made into electronic samples and it went from there.”
Well Worn crosses over into multiple genres in the breeziest way; it somehow manages to mix a range of smooth electronic, UK Garage and R&B, whilst remaining minimal enough to let Kaul’s dreamy vocals rule. When asked how crowds respond to their mash-up of styles in a live setting, Kaul says, “Australians can get rowdy. They are definitely tougher, it’s harder to get their attention but that makes us work harder.” Although that apparently isn’t the case when it comes to Europeans, who Lam says party hard but are “respectful and a lot tamer. It’s like they’re having fun but being peaceful.”
Chloe said, “At Primavera the stage we were at was so fresh, the sun was setting, there was a big crowd but everyone was really into it. We really went for it, and after the show that’s the gushiest we’ve ever been with each other. So many cuddles. It was so embarrassing, all the other bands it was just their daily life and here we are just freaking out. Everyone else was just sitting in the back, smoking ciggies, and we turned around and were like, ‘shit.’”
But it’s tough remaining suave in front of your music idols and if we’re honest, most of us make royal dicks of ourselves if, and when, we meet them. So as a precaution, Kllo now opt for a smile and wave policy.
“As much as you tell yourself beforehand you’re going to be relaxed and they’re just normal people, you never end up talking to them like that,” Lam said. He mentions being called over to meet Jamie xx in London, and Chloe confirms it was “tragic.”
Meet and greets aside, Kllo have managed to hold their own amongst headliners, most recently on the bill with some Monster Children favourites. Kaul said, “We were playing UK garage alongside The Avalanches and The Kills. So inappropriate. There was an older crowd of locals and we were just playing absolute bangers and scaring everyone.”
Well Worn is now available to stream for your listening pleasure.