Kai Piccolo Rialto, Montreal QC, November 18

Kai Piccolo Rialto, Montreal QC, November 18
Photo: Bruno Destombes
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Toronto singer Kai has a shockingly pure, full voice. On the small stage of the Piccolo Rialto last night (November 18), the singer born Alessia De Gasperis Brigante — that's right, another up-and-coming T.O. Alessia — sounded incredible, employing a du-jour sonic aesthetic not unlike that of Danish singer MØ. It makes sense — in "Revolution," Kai also has a hit single with Diplo.

The bass was heavy, but Kai's voice cut through perfectly as she climbed to the top and bottom of her sizeable register. The clicks and pops of her songs' production verges just slightly on the trite side — it's maybe too ubiquitous at this point — but she's a natural talent, and her songwriting's coming along nicely, too. Her songs feature dynamism uncommon among songwriters who aren't yet full-time, blowing out huge choruses while teasing out the verses with hooky trills and her sultry alto croon. Her last song evoked the stately pop elegance of Lorde or Sam Smith's "Stay With Me," so it's no wonder Warner Music has snapped her up for an EP to be released soon.

In short, though: Kai's got it. She's may not be quite ready for arenas yet, but she's bigger than the stage she played last night, and if the set was any indication, it won't be long before she's ready for the big time.