Will people get this album? That’s what we were wondering when we heard the new album Showboat Honey by Portland’s Kyle Craft. The record is essentially modern glam rock in the vein of T Rex and Queen, though not lifted in any way. The songs are so well crafted that they remind you of a time that existed before producers changed vocal pitch and pop structuring became the focus. No matter his intent here, Kyle Craft takes us back to when songwriting was everyone’s focus and we can’t get enough of it.
In some moments, the album has the guise of nineties Brit rock, like that of Supergrass and Pulp. In others it sounds like pure seventies glam churned through the haze of a modern interpretation of it all. The opener “Broken Mirror Pose” starts things off with that glitter eyed sound that’s hard not to love. The easy going stride of the song gets cut with grand instrumentation and it just sticks with you enough to where you’re humming it later like it’s a bonafide hit from forty years ago. That’s pretty much the way the rest of the album comes across as well, a sound you haven’t heard in a while done better than most who’ve attempted the same.
“2 Ugly 4 NY” has just enough jangle intertwined within its glam structure to never forget it, “Buzzkill Caterwaul” has all of the energy of a pure rock anthem mixed with Craft’s vocals to shoulder in all sorts of magical moments and “Sunday Driver” has all the makings of your next favorite song. But it’s not all laid out with traditional rock structures either. The biggest standout of the release is easily the piano driven notes of “Blackhole/Joyride.” The honky tonk piano plays like something Elton John would sing, but really stands above anything else you’ve heard that reminds you of his music. The album is riddled with tone and shape that showcases how far ahead of everyone Craft seems to be, even if he’s reminding you of something you haven’t heard in a long time.
Showboat Honey can be purchased in multiple formats directly from Sub Pop Records, it can be streamed on all streaming services or purchased digitally wherever you buy music online. Kyle Craft is on tour tomorrow in St Paul, MN at Turf Club until November 15 in Dallas, TX at Three Links. His complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Peter Karviaw.