2019 album also available on CD.
American alt-indie rock singer-songwriter Kyle Craft is releasing his brand new album via Seattle based Sub Pop Records entitled ’Showboat Honey’ and his third for the label. Born in Louisiana, grandson of a bluegrass player Kyle spent his childhood going to a baptist church sneeking into the choir room to play the piano, then started writing music as soon as he could play the guitar at the age of 15. Now 28, the hipster troubadour recalls he’s really not sure that he ever thought of a so-called ‘career in music’. “The whole music thing has been a really strange cinematic sort of journey for me,” he says. “None of it really makes sense on paper.” Well his music certainly makes sense and ’Showboat Honey’ is a straight-up rollicking rock’n’roll album that traverses all the different nuances of the genre, proving Kyle has grown into a prodigious songwriter.
Kyle Craft and his now solidified backing band, dubbed Showboat Honey, reflect the “sturm und drang” of life with their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless ‘Showboat Honey’. “This is basically an album centred around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time,” Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.” The sticky-sweet title of the album is lifted from the brightly choral “Buzzkill Caterwaul”: “I wanted to make something that sounded like a raucous collision of Leon Russell and Patti Smith,” he says, “But ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’ was the only tune that ended up showcasing that vision.”
Though aesthetics veer from song to song, ‘Showboat Honey’s’ steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a 60s/70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics, in which perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan. (“There is not a single thing in my life that has affected me more than the first time I heard Dylan,” says Craft. “It immediately changed my life.” )
Kyle hails from the isolated Mississippi River town of Vidalia, Louisiana where his chops weren’t honed in a woodshed but rather an old, dingy meat freezer that was out of commission. After years of touring, two albums with Sub Pop Records and solidifying the band, he’s grown into a prodigious songwriter, to say the least. The band recorded ‘Showboat Honey’ - coproduced by Craft, Clark and Slater - at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. “We approached this record differently for sure,” Craft says. “I’d make a demo, and after putting the songs together, shoot it to the band for ideas.” Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fuelled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. At the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now ‘Showboat Honey’, a moonstruck rock ’n’ roll record teeming with reckless abandon.
Vinyl formats include digital download codes.