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Kainalu Announces Sophomore Album & Shares 'Queen of Wands'

Kainalu Announces Sophomore Album & Shares 'Queen of Wands'

The new album is due out November 4.

Madison, WI-based rising psychedelic-funk multi-instrumentalist Kainalu announces his sophomore LP today, Ginseng Hourglass, due out November 4. Along with the announcement is a brand new, retro-futuristic, tarot-inspired single, "Queen of Wands," out everywhere now.

Trent Prall is the writer, producer, engineer and singer behind Kainalu, a word that roughly translates to "ocean waves" in Hawaiian. Raised Buddhist in the Midwest, Kainalu's roots lay in his Japanese-Hawaiian heritage and inform both his writing and sound. Since 2017, the multi-instrumentalist has been blending psychedelic funk, synthy beats, and distorted vocals with vulnerable lyricism to immerse listeners in a kaleidoscopic, expansive daydream.

The musician's 2019 debut album has garnered millions of streams on Spotify, and in March, Kainalu shared a live EP through Audiotree. Watch it in full here. Most recently, Kainalu supported (and is the touring bassist of) Joe Keery's (Stranger Things) musical project Djo at Chicago's Bottom Lounge. Kainalu carves his own intricate medley of his influences and upbringing creating a modern, spacious sound unlike any other.

The forthcoming captivating project titled Ginseng Hourglass is a contemplative, philosophical exploration of the passage of time and the finiteness of life over 11 enveloping tracks. It manages to strike a delicate balance of feeling airy and effervescent while plunging into the depths of despair.

Following the recent untimely passing of his mother, and the conversations they had surrounding her life and mortality in her last few months, Kainalu took to creating an album that captures the tiny joys amid the trauma and wisdom in the emotional ruin. Though the LP's subject matter is sad, Ginseng Hourglass is anything but, as it finds hope in the midst of pain.

"I don't want people to think this album is sad because it's not," says Kainalu. "I have always used music as a way to heal. That's what this music is - a way to escape into a vibe and atmosphere when the world was crumbling. It's meant to transport you into a world because that's what I needed when I wrote it."

The concept of the album shown in the cover art resembles the falling sand in an hourglass - the embodiment of time slipping away, knowing one's time is all the more precious. Moving from groove to groove across the project, the joy lies in its danceable tunes, but dig deeper to find a rabbit hole of emotions and profound processing in its lyrical content.

Simply put, Ginseng Hourglass is as much therapy as it is a fever dream, with Kainalu's story and struggle front and center. Created as a means of escape and healing, Kainalu explains, "I write to escape the thoughts that keeps me up at night. It's a therapy device and meditative practice. These past years we all experienced so much loss. On top of the pandemic, I really went through some serious trauma and I wrote this record because I needed to."

While Kainalu is the lead writer, performer, engineer and producer of his work, the LP was co-produced, mixed and mastered by Adam Thein and creatively directed by Madda Udvari-Solner.

With his signature sludgy basstones and soaring vocal hooks, Kainalu's latest single "Queen of Wands" is a lighter, nostalgia-tinged psychedelic-house track that took shape after a tarot card reading where the musician drew the queen of wands.

With 90's electronic undertones and inspired by English funk band Jamiroquai, Kainalu says, "It's about being overwhelmed in the complexities of modern dating and relationships. As we grow older, the desire for deep connection becomes increasingly stronger and a sort of existential longing develops." An ode to the power of femininity, Kainalu continues, "The track is a metaphor for this desire as the card roughly symbolizes a strong, driven feminine persona. When the queen of wands reveals themselves to you, resisting the signs is futile."

Kainalu has already caught the attention of several tastemakers in recent years. From the Intercom wrote, "Kainalu's music sounds timeless. Even back when he released his first Bloom Lagoon EP (2017) and its pulsing retro-psychedelic debut album Lotus Gate (2019), Kainalu's music already established itself as a modern approach to glitzy 70s psych and funk, always inspiring its listeners to move."

Like much of his single art featuring quickly evaporating hourglasses, the fragility of life and the preciousness of time are threaded through his music. It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine recognized this, writing, "Beneath a titanic bass line lies a deep lyrical exploration of one's relationship with the finiteness of life."

When highlighting emerging AAPI musicians, Grammy.com lauded, "You hear his confidence bloom in the music. Prall's 2019 album Lotus Gate and his just-released single "Revelator" seem to drip with sunshine and orange juice. Whenever keyboards stomp, low and insistently, or stray bass notes dip in and out like lingering pool flies, Kainalu's voice cuts through it; he seems to stand tall, like the director of his own dream."

When performing live, Kainalu is joined by Joe Waldbillig (guitar), Evan Nelson (bass), Matthew Allen (drums) and Julian Russell (drums) and conga drummer Aaron Gochberg, who combine to create a jam-influenced rendition of his recorded music.

Kainalu's forthcoming sophomore LP Ginseng Hourglass is due out November 4. The artist's latest psych-funk jam "Queen of Wands" is out everywhere now. Keep up with Kainalu on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for much more from the rising performer, musician and producer.

Listen to the new single here:

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From This Author - Michael Major


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