Summertime realizations and synth in Kill Symbols’ “Smokescreens”

With eager pulses of synth, layers of sound are built that sparkle in “Smokescreens”, sounding like an ode to the approaching summer ease. It’s music that crafts a special sense of warmth around itself, with pulsing lines of electronica bouncing across sweet synth. The lyrics match that guise of positivity with Kill Symbols, AKA Jake Triola, singing of sunrises, sunsets, and getting stronger. Later on, however, the lyrics dive deeper into new meanings, the words calling for a refocusing from “pictures half-remembered, stilted only sons / never shamed and never shunned,” to a realization that we need something new like “laughing stocks / saviors of the working class.”

The lyrics continue to paint those vivid pictures of things not being as they seem throughout, with the bright sound constantly morphing atop a consistent guitar strum. Then, in a split second, the synth is brought to a singular line, and the serious questions are finally asked. Kill Symbols repeats, “when will you admit to your crimes? / when will you admit to all the things you want to forget?” and the swirling environment of the upbeat synthesizer is revealed to be an unlikely facade for the darker truths beneath.

The Glasgow-based American expat Jake Triola is the man behind Kill Symbols, a new project he conceived while living in Scotland. Triola has made music all his life but has dabbled in other fields as well. He spent several years in film school, where he co-wrote and directed the feature film Drawdown, then worked as a factory laborer and energy salesman. He completed his first official full-length album The Painted Room in Spring 2021. He said about the album, “what was first written as a hushed, sullen folk record quickly metamorphosed into a collection of danceable synth tunes.”

His second album, Risk, was released in October 2021. This year, he plans to expand his musical palette, and even promises to release new songs each week. Keep up with Triola on his Instagram and listen to his new track “Smokescreens” below!

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.