Káryyn (stylized as K Á R Y Y N) doesn't write music; she summons it, conjuring inspiration from a void that, prior to her disruption, represented a sequence of confusion, misfortune, and disorientation. Her debut LP, The Quanta Series, consists of eleven paralyzing compositions that range from emotionally-wrenching experimental pop to granular, rather melodically-sparse ambience, all of which are presented by an artist who is clearly mourning, yet perhaps more importantly is reimagining herself and her position in the world.

Káryyn’s work stems from a place of acute reflection, enhanced by her deep family ties and the historical connection to which she is so attuned. In her case, accompanying such connection is poignant tragedy— in an interview with Pitchfork, Káryyn articulated that “My grandfather was in my great-grandmother’s belly when her husband’s head was delivered to her door,” an event which occurred shortly before the Armenian genocide. Further, she spoke of a time in her early twenties in which both her aunt and grandmother were dying of cancer in Aleppo. The Quanta Series wears this sorrow on its sleeve, however its adjacent theme of sanguinity grounds those harrowing elements in a stunning fashion.

The LP commences with ‘EVER,’ a visceral, introspectively driven cut that showcases Káryyn’s breathtaking vocal inflections layered over a deftly-crafted sonic whirlwind. Possessing no real structure, the track reads as a glimpse into the mind of an individual who is grappling with questions pertaining to her very identity as an artist in this world. Following the first track we encounter ‘YAJNA,’ a subtler piece that I found to be quite visually evocative. Engulfing sub-bass meets rich synth textures to construct a highly intimate atmosphere in which Káryyn is able to place her wandering vocals, gradually intensifying as the song progresses.

Perhaps the most stripped-down piece comes in the form of ‘PURGATORY.’ Káryyn exercises impressive restraint on this track, forcing herself to coexist with the gently droning synths and lack of percussion. ‘PURGATORY’ sounds highly spiritual, with its chamber-inspired vocal approach and enchanting textural progression. Along a similar vein, ‘MIRROR ME’ exists as a wandering a capella, steadily building in strength as Káryyn meticulously layers each vocal cadence onto another. It blissfully culminates in an intricate, polyphonic arrangement that’s truly chilling to the core.

The last piece on The Quanta Series is ‘SEGMENT & THE LINE,’ a rather hopeful track that serves as a proper ending to the emotional journey the LP inevitably takes its listeners. Like most of Káryyn’s compositions, ‘SEGMENT & THE LINE’ gently builds into something fairly imposing. The artist certainly has a talent in utilizing elements that, when on their own, present themselves subtly, yet once placed together emanate power and puissance.

The Quanta Series is an exceptional debut from an artist who exhibits true devotion to her craft. There is not a single moment on the LP that sounds forced, half-baked or compromised. Káryyn’s unique sense of authenticity shines through each of her tracks, placing her in a space of her own, with room to continue her journey of self discovery and clarity.