Alt-pop songstress Kaya Stewart continues to release fresh singles with today’s expressive “Hope You’re Happy,” the third offering from her forthcoming sophomore LP, If Things Go South (Bay Street Records). “Even though I’m self-evolved, I will always hate my ex-boyfriend, and I needed to write a song about that,” admits Kaya. “Every girl has been wronged by a guy, so this was my one ‘fuck you’.”
The song arrives in rapid fire succession following the lead single, “Honey,” and “‘Til I Fixed It.” The 10-track If Things Go South, which chronicles Kaya’s self-actualization as an artist along with the turbulence of growing up, doubt, heartbreak and mental health, is set for release on Friday, September 30 via Bay Street Records.
After launching her career in 2015 with a string of releases on Warner Records, Kaya now at the age of 22, arrives in full form with a scorching signature style. The album is tied together with her powerful, unique vocals utilizing pop-punk attitude, intimate Americana-tinged storytelling, and infectious danceable grooves. If Things Go South (co-written and co-produced with her father, Dave Stewart) is Kaya at her most authentic, expressive self. The album is set to arrive along with a candid performance film — self-narrated — detailing her most personal thoughts.
Under the influence of Alanis Morissette and Debbie Harry, she uncorked a hypnotic and hard-hitting sound of her own with full creative control and complete independence. “This record is one-hundred percent who I am now,” Kaya declares. “This is the Kaya I was working towards all along.”
In the midst of the global pandemic, she was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder which was the catalyst to write the collection of songs that make up If Things Go South.
“It was the weirdest time of my life, because I had this life-changing diagnosis that explained so much for me,” she admits. “I wasn’t planning on making an album; I was actually thinking of taking a break for a little while. I called my dad, and he said, ‘Why don’t you just come to Nashville and record a couple of songs?’ By the time I left, we had If Things Go South. I was able to be myself in the studio. The album is the most honest thing I’ve ever done.”
Following her self-titled album, Kaya Stewart (2016), that acquired millions of streams, she then went independent and headed to Nashville to cut the Miss Kaya EP (2020) with producer Jamie Lidell behind-the-board. Earning critical acclaim for this partnership from NPR and more, The FADER hailed the single “California” as “an airy song about the left-coast with Kaya’s powerful voice and a lot of wobbles courtesy of Jamie.”
Tracklisting for If Things Go South:
“If Things Go South”
“Young In New York”
“‘Til I Fixed It”
“3 Is Company”
“Hope You’re Happy”
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