Posted On 23 May 2017
London-based but USA born, Country Blues artist, Kyle T Hurley is thrilled to premiere his new album “KTH II.” His new album is a dynamic ride, complete with badass guitar hooks, Nashville-style vocals and honest lyricism.
Kyle has been hard at work across the pond, recording and finishing the album in London, at the famed Abbey Road Studios. KTH II features Amy Winehouse guitarist Robin Banerjee. Kyle has already premiered tracks off of the album to great acclaim with AXS, Impose Magazine, Vents Magazine, Myspace, The Shotgun Seat and most recently, The Boot.
Kyle T. Hurley is a dynamic storyteller, blending genre lines and giving listeners a new, 90’s-grunge-inspired take on classic Country styles. In his upcoming album, Kyle steps beyond his Bluesy roots to deliver different soundscapes with every track.
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Learn more about Kyle T. Hurley in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
Currently I’m in my north London flat listening to Chicago- 25 or 6 to 4. I’ve been really into them recently.
How is 2017 treating you so far? Did you approach the start of this year any differently then you did last year?
This year has been pretty devoted to my album- getting it out there and getting it heard. Also, playing around London and writing more material for my next album, KTH III. I approached this year with a focused mind to do as much as I could for my album. Also, I knew it was important to look at the future and not just rely on the cathartic feeling one feels when you finish an album, so working on new material was paramount.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your first musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today? If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
Growing up, music was always in my mind. I always had a song stuck in my head and if I found a song that I liked, I would listen to it over and over. I still do that. I get something different from a song every time I listen to it- good songs are layered. My first musical memory is listening to Whitney Houston- she was always on the radio and I guess I would sing along (I was around four or five at the time), so she was my first real influence. Pursuing my interests is all I can see myself doing. If I wasn’t a musician, I would be involved with the arts in some way- something to do with creating art.
Let’s talk about your newest album, “KTH II.” Where did the inspiration for this collection come from? Did anything surprise you about the process?
The inspiration for my newest album came from the music that I was listening to at the time I was writing the songs and the situations I found myself in during that time in my life. I really opened myself for this album which was different than for my first- on the first album I really relied on my influences. In fact, I’m really not even there. This second album is much more me and also has me exploring my musicianship.
Something that surprised me about the songs is how a song can evolve. ‘The Holding’, a track on this new album, evolved from a completely different song. It was about the same thing, however, as I wrote the original song, I thought about the life event that inspired the song, and thinking about it so much changed my perception about the event, and thus changed the song. I never considered that songs could do that- Neil Young once said that he only sings one song, and I can see how that can be true in a way because each song just changes and morphs with the artist into the next version of the previous song. So it’s all connected. That surprised me.
How does this latest album compare to your previous and debut album? How have you grown as an artist? What has remained the same?
I take more chances in this album. I was really nervous on my first album, and still finding my own voice. I’m still finding it, but for this album I went deeper into my own. It’s more me and the song ideas are more risky too. It’s not just all I-IV-V. I try different things. What’s remained the same is how I rely on my influences, but in this album I add more of my own ideas into the process. I think that’s the hardest part of being a singer-songwriter since there’s so much unknown.
What was it like recording “KTH II” at the famed Abbey Road Studios? How long did the entire process take?
I worked on the album at a few studios in London, including Abbey Road. Abbey Road is cool, but it’s a lot like a museum. It was originally built to record symphonies and orchestral church type music, so it has a real refined feeling about it- like you’re visiting your grandparents’ house. When people think about Abbey Road they think about The Beatles and such, but really the only reason they recorded there was because George Martin couldn’t get a good sound from The Cavern Club– so reason they went there was because Martin could get recording time there from his label- it just solved the problem. I guess that’s how it got famed- because they recorded there and similar artists followed suit because of The Beatles. But they didn’t go to record there because it was Abbey Road- it was just another studio. If you consider that, it’s really not unlike any other studio with a proper engineer and good equipment. The studio doesn’t make the scene- you do. The whole process from rehearsing to recording and mixing/mastering took about a year.
What are some songs on this new album that you are particularly proud of or that have a special significance to you?
Songs are a lot like children- you love them all but always remember your first one. The first one to come was an early rendition of ‘The Holding’, so that sticks out.
As a big fan of Amy Winehouse’s music, I have to ask what it was like working with her guitarist Robin Banerjee? How did this musical relationship come to be?
Robin is great- he’s got a unique jazz fusion type style. He works fast- pretty much the first take is what you’re gonna use. Plus he’s a cool guy- really chilled out. I met him one night while hanging out in a jazz bar known as Ronnie Scott’s in London- its where Jimi Hendrix performed his last gig. My girlfriend knew him from before he played with Amy, so she introduced us. We got to chatting and after I told him about the album thought to ask him to play on it, the rest is history.
Why have you decided to live in London right now? Is most of your family living over there? Have you ever considered moving the states? How do you think that living in England has influenced your sound today?
London is a cool city and I like the vibe. I’m American by birth, and moved to Europe a few years ago from Los Angeles. They are much more receptive to up and coming talent here- in fact a lot of artists came here before breaking in the US- Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty. Living in London has shown me how the rest of the world views Americans and that’s made my sound more American. It’s made me tap more into my American roots.
What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
My staple artists are Dylan, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Nirvana, and Zeppelin. Since they don’t release new music, the only way they continue to inspire my music is when one of their older songs speaks to me in a different way. Dylan releases new music, but the last work of his that’s really spoken to me was Time Out of Mind, which I constantly listen to. I’d love to work with him, but he’s Zeus and I’m just a mortal.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
I hope they take away the realness of the songs- the songs are all true and there is no fluff. Hopefully the songs resonate with them in their own life in some way. I hope the message of my songs is that it’s all happening in the right now.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
KTH III is in the works.