Oregon-based Half-Vietnamese American khai dreams announces their debut album ‘Absolute Heartbreak’, out 27 January via AWAL Recordings. The 10-track project marks khai’s first full-length album and will feature the previously released single “bugs”, which arrived with the Yana Pan-directed animated video following a storyline created by khai. Along with the album’s announcement, khai dreams shares their new single “rats”. The second offering from ‘Absolute Heartbreak’ is a pop track with an earworm melody paired with vulnerable lyrics. Self-described as creating “unhinged bedroom pop,” ‘Absolute Heartbreak’ showcases khai’s songwriting skills and usher in a new era for the young artist. Fans can stream “rats” here khaidreams.ffm.to/rats and pre-save ‘Absolute Heartbreak’ here: khaidreams.ffm.to/absoluteheartbreak
Speaking about the new single, khai says, “The song started when I was listening to ‘white summer and green bicycle, red hair with black guitar’ by The Pillows. The lyrics and melody of the intro just came to me when I was listening to that song. I wrote the rest of the song at a time when I was feeling extremely burnt out and depressed. I felt like I had no control over my life anymore. There were things I did and situations I found myself in that were very jarring and confusing to me, because I was not really present for it.”
Non-binary, half-Vietnamese American khai turned to the internet to blossom and truly be themself while growing up. Sites like Gaia Online, Neopets, and Runescape gave them the space to be anyone they wanted. Music always had a similar, escapist quality for khai, too: YouTube wormholes, digital audio software like Audacity, and learning the ukelele helped create another comforting sphere where they could dream. With these roots, the now 23-year-old artist started releasing music from their bedroom in 2017 with breakout singles “I Hold You Close To Me” and “Lost In You”, followed by their collaborative EP with Atwood in 2018’s ‘Nice Colors’. In 2019, khai released their EP ‘Now and Then,’ which features the hit track “Sunkissed”, which has garnered nearly 200 million streams on streaming platforms and has been used in over 140,000 videos on TikTok.