Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
Kyva dollar sign

Australian newcomer KYVA calls out late-stage capitalism on the retro-futuristic “Dollar Sign”

21 April 2020, 11:43 | Written by Matthew Kent

Reflecting on his own relationship with money and commenting on the system that facilitates this duality with “Dollar Sign” we see a new artist emerge and begin to bloom.

Growing up in the suburbs north of Sydney, KYVA is the moniker of Australian artist Kyle Linaham who uses his diverse sets of influences to create his music, which goes above and beyond topics of relationships and love. His lyrics are packed with intent, documenting societal inequalities and the marginalisation he has been subjected to, as a person of colour growing up in his typically European-Australian suburb.

Informed by the post-punk world of The Cure, the full-bodied funk of Prince as well as soca, reggae, calypso, Annie Lennox and Crowded Houses, thanks to his mother, Linaham’s sound is hard to pin down. With “Dollar Sign” he explores the sound of dark, muted club spaces and emerging into the city at dawn while sharing a message of hope and solidarity. “It seems like a pertinent time for this song to be heard,” Linaham tells me, “I think a lot of us are at home in isolation, worried or anxious or thinking a lot about money and how we’re going to provide for our families, put food on the table and if we are to become sick how we’re going to continue to do so.”

Of course “Dollar Sign” was written much before today's current pandemic situation and as Linaham continues to explain, this track is rooted in a personal discovery of his own, feeling trapped and unable to escape from the capitalist structures of today: "ultimately, what I’ve learned from the experience of writing the lyric for this song is that I can see there is a duality living within me. The allure of money, security and opportunity it might bring for me, specifically, is something that I live with along with my disgust for extreme wealth and greed and all the excesses and absurdities that come with late capitalism.”

Self-discovery is key to what Linaham is doing this new project. As KYVA, he hopes to breakdown toxic notions of masculinity and explore his own masculinity in a way where he can express both femininity and androgyny, embracing his own queerness. Fully in control of both his musical and creative identity, KYVA is an exciting prospect and an artist not only finding new ways to survive but new ways to thrive by full embracing every part of themselves.

"Dollar Sign" is out April 22 via Frenchkiss Records.
Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next