Alt-pop songstress Kaya Stewart has released her introspective short film, If Things Go South, via Bay Street Records. Screening tonight at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the 36-minute film directed by Paul Boyd is the visual accompaniment to her recently released sophomore full-length album of the same name. Watch the If Things Go South short film trailer below.
The 10-song album centers the film as it chronicles Kaya’s self-actualization as an artist along with the aches and pains of growing up, doubt, heartbreak and mental health. Having premiered the film at the HollyShort Film Festival on October 26,it will now have a subsequent, condensed screening at the Los Angeles International Film Festival this evening (7:00 p.m. at the Laemmle Monica Film Centre in Santa Monica, CA).
The album arrived in rapid-fire succession of Kaya’s singles “Honey,” “‘Til I Fixed It,” “Hope You’re Happy” and the title track, “If Things Go South.” Tina Benitez-Eves of American Songwriter raved about the album’s lead single, saying: “‘Honey’ unleashes desires, vulnerabilities…and the palpable realities of finding yourself while with another.” Over at Teen Vogue, Kaitlyn McNab declared it the “in-your-face ‘Honey’” while adding “the thumping anthem should be done justice by being blasted at full volume — that way, you’re able to simultaneously headbang and take in all of Kaya’s full-bodied vocals.”
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”
ABOUT KAYA STEWART
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.
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.”
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