Local singer-songwriter Lia Menaker released self-produced 5-song EP I Am Kyrøs earlier this month. According to Menaker’s website, the release is a product of self-exploration, mixing blues, electronic, and R&B elements.

“So I was in my early 30s, trying to be smart about my life path, yet clinging to dreams and self-perceptions from my 20s,” she writes. “A new identity seemed written in stone and nothing about my life looked like I’d pictured. I was depressed a lot and noticed others going through a similar struggle. So I started thinking, ‘How much of our identity is wrapped up in our dreams? Beneath my past, the desires and the storylines, what do I really look like?’”

To begin to answer these questions, Menaker turned to music.

Menaker developed the EP by experimented with sounds and techniques, including writing entirely on a vocal looper. The goal, she writes, was to “explore everything from the unwavering pursuit of one’s purpose, to running away from what makes us whole, to navigating what it means to be human in a digital world, and more.”

Menaker also notes that the goal with the Kyrøs release “wasn’t to churn out catchy pop hits, or make the listener feel comfortable.” Through the five tracks, Menaker “wanted to capture the human experience of navigating identity in a really honest way – and in a way that felt authentic to [her].” Because of this, Menaker began to play with “minimalism, space, and a melding of this soulful, classic jazz vocal and vibe with electronic elements and other sort of… eclectic sounds.”

During this exploration, Menaker discovered the concept for her EP’s title. It was the Ancient Greek idea “kairos,” which is the fleeting rightness of time and place that creates the opportune moment for words or action. According to Menaker’s site,  this concept “encompassed her music and evolution perfectly” and allowed Menaker “to be more than what I’d always pictured myself as – which is exactly what the album is about.”

I Am Kyrøs dropped on Bandcamp on June 5th and is now available on all major digital platforms. Her website also states that all June Bandcamp sales will go to fight police brutality in the United States. Menaker performs in Philly regularly and has live streams weekly on Twitch under @liamenaker.