Kyle Andrews Biography
Andrew has been spreading good vibes via his masterful bedroom pop confections for the better part of a decade now. Fostered by the encouragement he received via the boom of early 2000’s Myspace culture—in which Andrews posted songs online to a slowly growing fanbase of admirers—Andrews released his first proper album, Amos in Ohio, in 2006. Bouyed by a groundswell of Internet support and the growing admiration of NPR and KCRW, Andrews continued to expand his musical palette. In 2007 he let loose with a 7-song EP (Find Love, Let Go) and followed it up two years later with Real Blasty—an album that showed off his dexterous ability to jump between jangly acoustic numbers and shimmering electro-pop. It became a balancing act he would perfect on subsequent releases: 2010’s Kangaroo EP and the 2011 full-length, Robot Learn Love. As his prowess as a songwriter developed, so did his reputation. 2010’s “You Always Make Me Smile” inspired an epic video in which 4,000 people engage in one of the world’s largest water balloon fights, while the video for “Sushi” involved 1.4 million tiles and thousands of YouTube video stills. (The video was eventually shortlisted for the Guggenheim’s YouTube Play Exhibit). All of these musical feats are made all the more remarkable due to the fact that Andrews remained, for all intents and purposes, a one-man operation: a bedroom recording project that slowly went global.
When it came time to consider making a fourth proper full-length, Andrews found inspiration in the unlikeliest of places—the possible end of the world. “It was around that time that people were talking about how the Mayans predicted the world was gonna end,” he says, “It’s silly, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, Well, just in case…maybe I should make another record. And that led me to think about what kind of document I’d want to leave behind, you know, if the world were to end or if for some reason I never made another record. What kind of statement would I want to make?”
This summer Andrews returns with the answer to that question: Brighter Than The Sun, an aptly-titled record that Andrews will release on his very own imprint, Elephant Lady Records. While still working within the mileu of one-man band, Andrews also brought in live drums and more expansive production to give the record a sound befitting it’s title. In that sense, the album doesn’t so much represent a reinvention of his sound as much as it does a radical expansion. Having decided to fully invest himself in the pursuit of making a pure pop album, Andrews concocts some of the warmest, hookiest music of his entire career. Opening track “Lion” sets the tone for the pop that is yet to come—shiny, synthy, symphonic dance-friendly numbers that explode out of the gate with melodies and singalong choruses aimed skyward. Songs like “Looking Up” and ”Crystal Ball” rank among some of the catchiest tracks Andrews has ever written, while “Set Your Heart At Ease” showcases Andrews’ uncanny ability to balance pop jubilance with youthful melancholy. When he sings, “Set your heart at ease / Everything’s gonna be OK / It’s not a sad song if everybody sings along” it’s as if Andrews has found a way to make music that exists like an armour against cynicism. The album’s closing track—“The Way to Wonder”—articulates all of the album’s kindest sentiments into one sanguine moment: a love-letter to optimism and togetherness, the track morphs from an acoustic strum to a loping, sun-infused singalong. It’s the perfect final moment for an album that seems intent on creating a palpable, and completely unironic sense of joy. Without being saccharine or snarky, Brighter Than the Sun is a record that celebrates chasing after the good and shaking off the bad.
“I tend to write my happiest song when it’s raining outside or things are tough,” says Andrews. “I tend to write the kind of song I feel like I myself need to hear. Over the years I’ve gotten so much crazy feedback from people about my music, about how it’s helped them or brightened up their lives or cheered them up when they needed it. That’s the kind of energy I want to put out there, you know? When you are making songs—and later when you perform them for people—you are repeating these lines over and over and over. They words become like a mantra, you know? And if you’re gonna have a mantra, what do you want that to be?”
This summer Kyle Andrew will hit the road to help bring Sun to the masses, an experience that he is very much looking forward to. “I usually always say that my favorite place in the world is in my room recording stuff,” he says, “I’m not the world’s biggest extrovert, but I do like to be on stage and kind of just dissolve into the songs. And I’m really looking forward this time to going out and sharing these songs with people; seeing people sing and dance. I’m looking forward to going places we’ve never been before.”