A few weeks back Denver singer/songwriter Kyle Emerson released his latest single (and accompanying music video) “May You Find Peace,” the first single from his sophomore album, the follow-up to 2017’s Dorothy Alice. And while his debut LP fits more neatly into the traditional “singer/songwriter” box, his latest sounds find him expanding upon that for something that would probably be better described as intellectual pop music. Last week I got a chance to chat with Emerson and he admits that the process of composing his new music definitely took on a new direction: “I wrote it with a full band in mind, whereas I wrote the first record while living in LA and living in a tiny studio apartment, and I think the album kind of reflects that. For this one, I wanted to make a larger and more upbeat sound, more layers, probably more accessible.” He tells me that he’s still deciding how he wants to release the album, but that he will definitely continue putting out singles throughout the year.
Emerson tells me that when he was preparing to work on this batch of songs he was spending a lot of time getting to know the work of a regional legend, one for whom he admits he was a little late to the party.
“I had never really listened to Bruce Springsteen before this record, but I got into the biggest Bruce Springsteen phase before starting this record… His early stuff is a little more along the lines of Van Morrison and Dylan, which I really like… Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town are definitely my favorites of his… You know that song, ‘Streets of Philadelphia?’ That’s what I know of your city [laughs].”
At the moment Kyle Emerson is on a short run of dates supporting our buddies in Ages and Ages and tonight they will all find themselves at Boot & Saddle. And apparently this will be Emerson’s local debut. When I ask him what can be expected of his set, he tells me it’s definitely going to be a good time: “We’re really just starting to tour… We’ve never played Philly, but we’ve got a full band and me and the guitarist, Miles, spend a lot of time dialing in the guitars. We’re leaning into the Rock’N’Roll thing more.”