Song of the Day: Kyle Craft - Pentecost

Song of the Day
04/04/2016
Jim Beckmann
photo by Andrew Toups

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is "Pentecost" by Kyle Craft from his forthcoming debut, Dolls of Highland, due April 29th on Sub Pop.

Kyle Craft - Pentecost (MP3)

When you hear about Kyle Craft - and you can bet you'll be hearing even more about him soon - you'll also hear about the ghosts of his past. Some are the direct musical influences that pervade his songs, while others are characters from his home town of Vidalia, Louisiana, and Shreveport, the city where he got his start. The album's title, Dolls of Highland, is in fact a direct reference to those of the latter. And though on hearing him, you can't help but notice Bowie's glam or Dylan's grit (or think Ryan Adam's brain on Rufus Wainwright's voice), the young singer-songwriter stands out strikingly enough with his own unique passion - pathos, even - and his fabulously teased hair.

Today's featured song, "Pentecost", is the album's first single and emblematic as any on Dolls of Highland of Craft as both outcast and survivor. One can quickly guess why small town life wasn't for him, but the song, while being a rollicking rocker, is ultimately a lament as it recounts Craft's and a friend's religious upbringing and the friend's tragic resolution: "So tell me what you've got to prove / Tell me why would you push the bullet through your mind / Tell me what they sold to you at the altar you were altered by the light / and it was as dark as the demon in your mind". If only Todd could listen now: "We can go downtown, take the one in the chamber out", but instead Craft is left to offer his plea to a "ghost", a "ghoul". Thankfully, Kyle Craft on his own artistic path, now living in Portland, Oregon, and signed to local stalwart label, Sub Pop. We'll keep listening to his ghosts if he can.

Look for more music from Kyle Craft when Dolls of Highland is released on April 29th. He performed in Seattle just this past Friday at Barboza for Sub Pop's 28th anniversary show with Cullen Omori, but he'll be back soon, on April 28, when he plays at The Sunset and also Live on KEXP at 1PM. Until then, check out his Facebook page for more updates and listen to "Eye of a Hurricane", another song from the forthcoming LP:

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