For independent musicians, sometimes the music industry works in their favour, or against them, in mysterious ways. One day you’re in, with all the benefits you can think of: a label, a manager, a booking agent and devoted fans that follow you around... and the next you’re out. The problem with fast-paced fame is that sometimes you need time to mature, find yourself, find your sound and learn from experiences and mistakes.

Australian duo Kllo, a family collaboration between cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam, might have a thing or two to say their speedy rise to fame, in part due to their melancholic beat-making fused with R&B and 90s UK garage. Since the release of their first EP in 2014, the band has been featured in fashion magazines, a range of buzz blogs and travelled the world non-stop. In between tour buses and airplanes, they managed to write part of their first full-length album and later work out the details in isolation back in Melbourne.

Released through Ghostly International, Backwater outlines the struggles of being idle and being pushed outside your comfort zone. As their sound spreads out between the realms of SBTRKT and Burial, Kllo make sure their unique soulful and R&B-driven musical direction remains transparent and fully conveys their perception of love and fragility in the most innocent and sincere form.

Kaul’s delicate approach to lyrics, where she pours her need for comfort, is a focal point on Backwater, attached to a feeling of lightness shining through Lam’s production talents. By overlaying lyrics drenched in intimate beauty, and even heartache with airy sounding tracks, Kllo are also taking part on this new wave of R&B, soul revivalism bandwagon led by established figures like FKA twigs, Sevdaliza and, of course, Kelela.

‘Making Distractions’ features catchy lyrics about the struggles of writing a song, while elsewhere they produce an eyes-closed club anthem ‘Dissolve’. Both being highlights on this record, they also best exemplify how a modern soul influenced project can sound so vulnerable but also well-crafted, and most importantly, cathartic. Backwater being their most complete and mature release to date, the band’s creative dynamic remains organic and allows them to adjust themselves to a rhythm of their choosing, as they evolve as musicians and as a two-piece band with a wide range of possibilities.