Surviving Is The New Living

Okay Kaya  

Surviving Is The New Living

Released: August 14, 2020



  1. Comic Sans
  2. Baked Bean
  3. Squish
  4. Das Obst
  5. DJ
  6. Knagg
  7. Bill Withers
  8. Palm Psalm
  9. Kiss This Sky
  10. Snacks
  11. 5th Harm

None of us is made for isolation. And yet, some of us thrive in it. The vanities of day-to-day life fall away and the creative gland begins secreting at a new clip.

Okay Kaya’s peculiar, claustrophobic and oft-gorgeous bedroom soul seams readymade for isolation. And as you might imagine, she’s one of us thriving in these tragicomic “strange and uncertain times.”

Holed up in a Copenhagen apartment after her European and North American tours were cancelled, Kaya Wilkins began demo-ing with her friend Nature Boy. But the session quickly developed into a full-fledged and stunning new collection of songs called ’Surviving is the New Living.’ For all intents and purposes the collection will henceforth be recognized as a “mixtape,” though you will soon hear it absolutely ascends to something far greater.

Your sourdough and bananabread attempts are very cute. Be proud. We’re all doing our best. But with ‘Surviving is the New Living’ Kaya just cranked out The Isolation Era Songbook.

Rather than an addendum to her 2020 album ‘Watch This Liquid Pour Itself,’ ‘Surviving…’ stands as its own bold statement and underscoring of Kaya’s songwriting prowess.

The subtle acumen of Kaya’s voice has never been more clear — in one moment its an elegant contralto on the level of Sade; the next moment she approaches the fricative hoarseness of Lupita Nyong’o’s tether in ‘Us.’ Kaya’s voice contains multitudes. See the first moments of the horny, avant-R&B standout “Bill Withers” in which a creepy and low masculine moan rises and rises into something breezy. Written several weeks before Withers passed in April, the song is, in part, a loving nod to his light-touch songwriting: “I wanna feel like Bill Withers did/When he rhymed intuition with wishing.”

By now, Kaya is known for laying bare the crevices of human sensuality and exploring the slipperier terrain of the modern psyche. But on ‘Surviving is the New Living’ we (alone but together) join her on the expedition — too horny for quarantine; folding towels with vigor; scrubbing until we’re numb; waiting for some locksmith to let us out like he’s Godot.

We’ll be out of this soon enough but for now, we have this raw, delightful and ultimately powerful love note from Okay Kaya.

Other releases by Okay Kaya