Dancing delicately between experimental pop and heavy, dark alternative
Lyhre is the solo project of Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer and composer Anitha Kandasamy.
Based on her classical piano and vocal education, she experiments with sound synthesis and composition at the intersection of digital and analogue, contrasting her voice with dark musical elements to create hybrid pop. With influences ranging from electronica, alternative/rock and pop, Lyhre’s boundaries of genres and her identity stay entirely fluid.
She works transdisciplinary in performance art, sound design and multimedia projects and has been at Deutsches Theater Berlin, Volksbühne Berlin, as well as part of collaborative works with hmtmh (Hannover), Zhdk (Zurich) and is an artist at Modularfield Records. Her Debut EP is part of the Netflix series “ELITE”. In 2017 she formed a collective alongside artist Katja Gaudard, in which they create works primarily based on artistic, but also sociological, philosophical and technical explorations. They received a project-based scholarship for their work on Judith Butler’s “The Force Of Nonviolence”.
Lyhres new works are supported by Initiative Musik gGmbH with project funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.
Her latest single “Parasite” was produced by award-winning artist/composer Robot Koch and sonically subsumes the feeling of strength in fragility. Dancing delicately between experimental pop and heavy, dark alternative, the song features cinematic soundscapes and haunting emotion-fueled vocals with an overall gothic atmosphere. Rumbling instrumentation sets a sinister tone, while Lyhre’s layered, echoing vocals soar as she sings, “You nested inside of me, like a parasite, now I’m bleeding you out till there’s nothing left of you.”
“Parasite” came about when Lyhre saw a call for young writers to submit a text on how to conquer the future. She explains, “I saw it and felt that something deeply irritated me about it, so I wrote a text titled “Let’s not conquer the future” which turned into a kind of mini-manifesto for overcoming our form of existence and, in my arrogant solitude, of course never sent it… Later, though, based on emerging bioethical questions and the resulting polemical conceptual equation of “weak” and vulnerable as a physical phenomenon, I dealt with it again. With a focus on the ambivalence of borders, implying, on the one hand, a protective “identity structure” and on the other hand the simultaneous demarcation and mutual production of normative expectations.” So I started to explore normalized categories in relation to identity and vulnerability, in order to negotiate them in the context of a reflection of the label “human”, in a pop cultural setting. This interdisciplinary project is now receiving support from the Initiative Musik.”
In “Parasite”, the parasitic way of living, i.e. the preservation of livelihood for self-preservation, respectively the exploitation of others (organisms), is used as a metaphor. Thereby partial aspects of (queer-)feminist posthumanism are spotlighted and at the same time, the song is also representative of an abusive relationship and a lustful (self-destructive) overcoming of it. Lyhre continues, “I think this is made clear by the biological context of the term. The cohabitation of two organisms for one-sided benefit is thus called parasitism. What distinguishes parasitism from others is that parasites do not necessarily kill their hosts, but rather use them systematically. A dead host is useless to the parasite. Accordingly, there is the parasite and the system that sustains the parasite.” The song “Parasite” therefore becomes a question of what chance lies in overcoming the Self.
Hoping to inspire others to have the courage to see something different than the seemingly inevitable, the songwriter reveals how the perfect time to listen to “Parasite” is when the rain hits your naked skin, as she shares, “We always think that there is this boundary between me and you, or subject and nature, forgetting that all our skin is perforated… So when it rains and for anyone writhing out of an abusive relationship. For anyone who is overcoming, has overcome, or will overcome something or someone, Parasite is rain on your skin that may make you less lonely for a moment.”