22 May 1982 (age 35)
Years ago, Kyle Andrews traded Chicago's bone-chilling winters for Nashville's constantly flowing spring of music. Ever since, Kyle has been polishing gems unearthed in the cluttered corners of his bedroom studio. His first official album, Amos In Ohio (2006), set the bar for the thinking-person's indie-pop. Kyle proved that DIY-style production didn't have to lack depth, and his intimate songwriting style (sometimes emotional, sometimes enigmatic, always engaging) delivered tracks that were so fun to sing along with, you didn't mind that they were stuck in your head for weeks. WXPN (NPR) dubbed Amos as "instantly memorable… packed with infectious hooks" and praised Kyle's "ear for melody that's as strong as his songwriting ability."
Kyle answered the praise with his seven-song EP, Find Love, Let Go (2007), including the single "Get Mad," which was featured as KCRW's Song of the Day. Kyle's last full-length, Real Blasty (2009), incorporated all the strengths critics lauded in Kyle's previous work but pushed his sound in a new direction. Darker and more aggressive songs found balance in upbeat, danceable tracks like "Sushi" and polished ballads. Andrews proved his acoustic-pop sensibilities were just as comfortable in big, electronic-laden club surroundings. Tamara Vallejos of NPR described it as "…an upbeat album for sad people who just want to dance. A lesser artist could get weighed down by the broody lyrics covering unrequited love, insecurities and general enui. But Andrews pulls it off by pairing his angst with bright electro-pop rhythms and irresistible hooks."
Now, with the KANGAROO EP, on Elephant Lady Records, Andrews is returning to his cheery, sunny pop. "This is my best effort at putting out something happy," Kyle says of KANGAROO. "Truth is, I wrote most of these songs when I wasn't very happy at all. Most of them came as relief at the peak of frustration: Just after a moment when I felt totally beat, I would grab the guitar, switch on the drum machine and these songs would appear. They were all telling me something I needed to hear. 'Even if you fall down hard, I know you'll bounce right back' pretty much sums up the overall message." Like all of Kyle's work, KANGAROO is catchy, with measured doses of synths and beats, but it belies a sweetness that endears Kyle to anyone who listens. "Sushi" appears again as a half-tempo remix, and "You Always Make Me Smile" (recently featured in a series of Holiday Inn commercials) proves Andrews is still intent on making everyone smile.
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