Posts Tagged ‘Dolls of Highland’

On his follow Up album, Kyle Craft continues to cement his place as one of the top songwriters around. His musical inspirations are rooted in the music of the 70s and his ability to spin a good yarns stems from his love of the folk, “I’m really just into that ’60s folk rock stuff. That’s where my heart is.”

“Full Circle Nightmare” is a rock ‘n’ roll album that tells rock ‘n’ stories. It is the type of music that lit up the airwaves during the 70s. Unlike Dolls Of Highland, Craft mines his own life on the autobiographical Full Circle Nightmare. Exile Rag mashes up a Southern twang riff with a boogie-woogie piano that The Stones mastered in the 70s as he sings of a femme fatale that leave him in the dust.

It’s a subject that he hits often, such as Heartbreak Junky & Fake Magic Angel. Slick & Delta Queen puts a nice spin on it, as he measures an ex’s current relationship with the relationship he once had. The tune features a horn that conveys a mournful, almost wistful sound as he longs for the times that were.

For the Kyle Craft experience I’d also suggest checking out “Girl Crazy“, an album where he covered only female artists. If he’s on the road . I strongly suggest you take in a set.

We were excited when Sub Pop Records signed Kyle Craft, and now we’re extremely pleased to have him & the band in for a ‪#‎KeepOregonWell‬ session for Kink.fm! This is one of the shows you won’t want to miss! Join us in the Studio (1210 SW 6th Ave downtown PDX .

Kyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the banks of the Mississippi, where he spent most of his time catching alligators and rattlesnakes instead of playing football or picking up the guitar. He’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town–it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll.

That self-made talent drives every note of his previous album release Dolls of Highland, Craft’s exhilarating, fearless solo debut. “This album is the dark corner of a bar,” he says. “It’s that feeling at the end of the night when you’re confronted with ‘now what?’”

Craft knows the feeling well–Dolls began to take shape when everything he took for granted was suddenly over, including an eight-year relationship. “All of a sudden I was left with just me for the first time in my adult life,” he says. He decided to get himself and the music he’d been working on far away from the ghosts of his home in Shreveport, Louisiana, to make a new life for himself in Portland, Oregon, living under a friend’s pool table while he demoed new songs and started to tackle his own question about what came next.

Dolls of Highland crashes open with “Eye of a Hurricane,” a whirlwind of ragtime piano and Craft’s dynamic, enthralling vocals. He calls it a “jealous song,” stirred up by the memories of an ill-fated crush and a drama of “weird little connections, a spider web of what the fuck?”

The swinging, resonant “Lady of the Ark” is also tied up in that web, “a very incestuous song,” says Craft. “It’s about these messed up relationships, maybe involving me, maybe revolving around me.” Most of the characters and atmospheres on the album come from in and around Shreveport, where Craft briefly returned while recording the album for an intensely productive reckoning with his past. He stayed in a friend’s laundry room in the Highland neighbourhood, where he recorded the whole album in two months on a home studio rig. “I dedicated the album to Shreveport and called it Dolls of Highland for all the girls and ghosts in town who influenced it so strongly.”

Craft eventually returned to Portland where Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence helped refine and mix the album to move it from its DIY beginnings to a more fully realized work. Craft played most of the instruments on the album, but the recorded songs transmit the power of his live performance. “It’s just letting go,” says Craft. “I think it’s just all about feeling it in your chest.”

And then there’s Craft’s unforgettable voice–”I’m fully aware that I have a very abrasive, very loud voice, but Bob Dylan is the one that taught me to embrace that,” says Craft. “I stray away from him from time to time, but always come back. I don’t want to come off as antique, but I also don’t want to be afraid of paying homage to the stuff I’ve always loved.” With those influences as inspiration, Craft’s talent and singular creativity move the conversation into new and unpredictable places.

Kyle Craft in the Skype Live Studio presented by Keep Oregon Well

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After Kyle Craft wrapped up the recording of his upcoming (all originals) 2018 album, he decided to record a cover of a Jenny Lewis song for fun. This quickly spiraled into a full fledged project with Kyle recording a slew of songs by his favorite female singers.  Working with his bandmate, Kevin Clark in their home studio after hours, Craft multi-tracked all the parts himself, and what started as an idle aside became a labour of love.

Now Sub Pop Records and Kyle Craft have picked ten favorites from the sessions to release as Girl Crazy, a series of 2-track singles rolling out weekly starting in September.   Focusing on Kyle Craft’s acclaimed interpretive talents – his version of Bowie’s “Heroes” stole the show at Newport 2017 –“Girl Crazy” introduces audiences, who may know Craft from his Sub Pop debut album Dolls of Highland, to another side of the artist.  The series will run every Thursday through October 5th, and also features covers of artists like Sharon Van Etten, Jenny Lewis, Cher and Patsy Cline.

‘Girl Crazy‘ a collection of covers from Kyle Craft available now

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Kyle Craft’s album wasn’t one I quickly gravitated to, but after many mentions by folks who’s taste I appreciate, I dug in deep—thankfully. Dolls of Highland is reportedly a break-up album, cobbled from the ashes of a flamed-out eight-year relationship and recorded in a makeshift home studio set up in a friend’s laundry room. But you’d never know about that heart-rending inspiration from the stage-crashing gusto on display here. If Dolls of Highland has a basis in autobiography—the title references the Shreveport neighborhood where it was made—Kyle Craft spends the album imagining himself as Ziggy Sawdust, a flamboyant fop working the barrelhouse piano in the front room of the seediest bayou bordello. His songs illustrate how the intense religiosity and voodoo-infused mythology of the South make it fertile turf for the sort of colorful characterization and freak-scenery on which glam rock was founded. This is an album populated by burlesque dancers, bloodsuckers, lonely nightclub singers, goth girls, one-night stands, suicide victims, and otherwise innocent folk going crazy from the heat. Craft summons you into their world like a carnival barker wooing unsuspecting customers into a funhouse attraction.

In a Dylan-meets-glam-meets-enchanted-booze-fairy kinda way, this album grabs you and takes you along for a helluva ride. Buckle up, amigo.

Kyle Craft

After falling hard for Bob Dylan and David Bowie as a child in Louisiana, Kyle Craft channeled his heroes on his Sub Pop debut, Dolls of Highland. A couple years ago, he holed up in a friend’s Shreveport, Louisiana laundry room and turned true-to-life tales of a “Gloom Girl,” the “Lady of the Ark” and “Black Mary” into a poetic gumbo of Southern roots, electric folk and preening glam rock. “That’s one of the more beautiful things about songs is that they’re more like pictures,” he says. “[Dylan’s] ‘Visions of Johanna’ is a picture. It’s not some sort of thing that’s telling you to feel a certain way, it’s just there.“Dolls” echoing honky tonk saloon piano, harmonica, vintage organ and his unrestrained howl — like Carly Simon chasing Freddie Mercury-level vocal runs

He Says: “I couldn’t sleep [the night after I found out Bowie died]. Every time I’d go to sleep I’d have these nightmares. It was rough. Bowie was the first album I ever had. He’s always been a giant influence on me. At the same time, he went out perfectly. His passing was graceful. It was classy, beautiful, and he made it feel like it was right. It felt like he was like, ‘All right, see you guys later.'”

 

“Before the Wall” is an impassioned new protest song from Singer Songwriter Kyle Craft.

He’s currently on the road, and tonight you can (and should) see him with label mates Mass Gothic in Washington, D.C. at DC9 Nightclub.

“Before the Wall” from Kyle Craft, released 8/11/16

Kyle Craft’s release on April 29th, 2016 from his excellent debut album Dolls of Highland is our video of the day. I love the way the piano talks to the guitar and then those lush screaming vocals, so dramatic and reeling. This song gives me all the feels of a Queen song and the video is dark and playful. Kyle Craft is mesmerizing and says he was heavily influenced by Dylan and Bowie. Growing up in Louisiana, he is now in Portland.
Dolls of Highland crashes open with “Eye of a Hurricane,” a whirlwind of ragtime piano and Craft’s dynamic, enthralling vocals. He calls it a “jealous song,” stirred up by the memories of an ill-fated crush and a drama of “weird little connections, a spider web of what the fuck?” available on Sub Pop Records

“Eye of a Hurricane” from Kyle Craft’s April 29, 2016 debut album Dolls of Highland available on Sub Pop Records
Sub Pop

Kyle Craft,”Eye of a Hurricane” A track taken from the 2016 debut album “Dolls of Highland” from a tiny town in Louisiana, Kyle Craft isn’t the most obvious character to reinvent himself as a silver-haired glam desperado, but inspiration struck after he found a David Bowie album in K-Mart. Thus, this unlikely but brilliant debut hurls together Craft’s Dylan-meets-Brett Anderson holler with rollicking ragtime stomp, reminiscent of vintage Cockney Rebel or early Suede. The instantly singable likes of Berlin and Lady of the Ark are peopled by “girls and ghosts” from Craft’s hometown of Shreveport – burlesque dancers, vampires, “midnight boys” and “jackknife queens” – each depicted with a mix of empathy, humour and occasional savagery. And behind these tragicomic nightlife tales is a top-notch songwriter who has been fired by the sting of romantic betrayal. Three Candles has a particularly Springsteenesque magnificence as Craft races away from heartbreak – “Four to the floor / A stain on my jeans / 300 miles between me and Orleans” – towards what should be a glittering future.

Kyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the banks of the Mississippi, where he spent most of his time catching alligators and rattlesnakes instead of playing football or picking up the guitar. He’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town–it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll.

That self-made talent drives every note of Dolls of Highland, Craft’s exhilarating, fearless solo debut. “This album is the dark corner of a bar,” he says. “It’s that feeling at the end of the night when you’re confronted with ‘now what?’”

Craft knows the feeling well–Dolls began to take shape when everything he took for granted was suddenly over, including an eight-year relationship. “All of a sudden I was left with just me for the first time in my adult life,” he says. He decided to get himself and the music he’d been working on far away from the ghosts of his home in Shreveport, Louisiana, to make a new life for himself in Portland, Oregon, living under a friend’s pool table while he demoed new songs and started to tackle his own question about what came next.

Dolls of Highland crashes open with “Eye of a Hurricane,” a whirlwind of ragtime piano and Craft’s dynamic, enthralling vocals. He calls it a “jealous song,” stirred up by the memories of an ill-fated crush and a drama of “weird little connections, a spider web of what the fuck?”

The swinging, resonant “Lady of the Ark” is also tied up in that web, “a very incestuous song,” says Craft. “It’s about these messed up relationships, maybe involving me, maybe revolving around me.” Most of the characters and atmospheres on the album come from in and around Shreveport, where Craft briefly returned while recording the album for an intensely productive reckoning with his past. He stayed in a friend’s laundry room in the Highland neighborhood, where he recorded the whole album in two months on a home studio rig. “I dedicated the album to Shreveport and called it Dolls of Highland for all the girls and ghosts in town who influenced it so strongly.”

Craft eventually returned to Portland where Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence helped refine and mix the album to move it from its DIY beginnings to a more fully realized work. Craft played most of the instruments on the album, but the recorded songs transmit the power of his live performance. “It’s just letting go,” says Craft. “I think it’s just all about feeling it in your chest.”

And then there’s Craft’s unforgettable voice–”I’m fully aware that I have a very abrasive, very loud voice, but Bob Dylan is the one that taught me to embrace that,” says Craft. “I stray away from him from time to time, but always come back. I don’t want to come off as antique, but I also don’t want to be afraid of paying homage to the stuff I’ve always loved.” With those influences as inspiration, Craft’s talent and singular creativity move the conversation into new and unpredictable places.

And no question, this album is very much about moving forward. “After everything fell apart, it didn’t take very long for me to learn who I was and what I should be doing,” says Craft, who is walking out on the other side with Dolls of Highland.

Kyle Craft

A swamp bar jukebox loaded with British glitter and Seventies Southern rock; a crawfish boil aboard ELO’s spacecraft For Fans of: Dr. Dog, Ryan Adams, The Last Waltz

You Should Pay Attention: After falling hard for Bob Dylan and David Bowie as a child in Louisiana, Kyle Craft channeled his heroes on his Sub Pop debut, Dolls of Highland. A couple years ago, he holed up in a friend’s Portland laundry room and turned true-to-life tales of a “Gloom Girl,” the “Lady of the Ark” and “Black Mary” into a poetic gumbo of Southern roots, electric folk and preening glam rock. “That’s one of the more beautiful things about songs is that they’re more like pictures,” he says. “[Dylan’s] ‘Visions of Johanna’ is a picture. It’s not some sort of thing that’s telling you to feel a certain way, it’s just there.” Dolls’ echoing honky tonk saloon piano, harmonica, vintage organ and his unrestrained howl — like Carly Simon chasing Freddie Mercury-level vocal runs — provide an immediacy that he’ll showcase in May while touring with the Fruit Bats. Mixed by Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of the Helio Sequence, this album stokes the warmth, looseness and unpredictability of a live show just inches from coming unhinged.

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He Says: “I couldn’t sleep [the night after I found out Bowie died]. Every time I’d go to sleep I’d have these nightmares. It was rough. Bowie was the first album I ever had. He’s always been a giant influence on me. At the same time, he went out perfectly. His passing was graceful. It was classy, beautiful, and he made it feel like it was right. It felt like he was like, ‘All right, see you guys later.'”

“[Summers and Weikel] are geniuses when it comes to mixing. When you hear this album now, it has this polish to it. Not overproduced, or extremely polished, but it does sound galaxies different from where it started. When it started, it certainly sounded like it was recorded in a laundry room. They get down to what grade of cable it is. I’ve never been like that before. I’m like, ‘Lemme throw this shitty mic into this shitty pre-amp and through this shitty cable.’ Phil Spector once said: ‘Mic anywhere in a room with a good performance and it’s gonna turn out good.'”

Hear for Yourself: Just enough of Ziggy’s stardust gives “Pentecost” .

Kyle Craft Photo Credit: Andrew Toups

Kyle Craft’s “Pentecost” is the latest offering from Dolls of Highland, his forthcoming Sub Pop Records debut, which is due to be released on April 29th.

Kyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the banks of the Mississippi, where he spent most of his time catching alligators and rattlesnakes instead of playing football or picking up the guitar. He’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town – it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll.

http://

That self-made talent drives every note of Dolls of Highland, Craft’s solo debut. “This album is the dark corner of a bar,” he says. “It’s that feeling at the end of the night when you’re confronted with ‘now what?’”

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