Nolan Kennedy
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Nolan Kennedy

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF | AFM

New York City, New York, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Folk




""Cover You" Review"

With a sound reminiscent of good '90's alt-rock Nolan Kennedy's "Cover You" feels like something you should already be singing along with.

The single's remarkably pleasant, with lulling chords and grounded vocals that fall in perfectly against a melody impossible to sit still to and the acoustic recording lends the track an air of authenticity that will leave you falling for it within the first thirty seconds.

Look for debut album The Honesty Theory to be released October 17th, check out single "Cover You" below, and head to the sites to hear more.

"Cover You" Nolan Kennedy - The Music Rag

"Music: Take Me Home by Nolan Kennedy"

Why did you select this song as your current single?

I like to use the word “single” very loosely. It’s hard to identify with just one song, especially because the album is only seven songs long, each with its own influences and vibes to it. “Take Me Home Pt 1” is one of the songs off “the honesty theory” that doesn’t get the proper attention it deserves, which is why I chose it as my submission song. It’s lyrically driven over a simple melody, and the upright bass is absolutely killer. Lyrically it comes from a very confusing place in my life and I think people can relate to it. I selected “Take Me Home” for that exact reason; we’ve all been in that place before, I felt it just needed to be heard and expressed. Meanwhile, songs like “Apologize” have been chosen as the radio “single” playing back home in Philadelphia and “Devil Creep” has been the choice for the upcoming music video. They’re all singles in their own way because they mean different things; all good, just different. They each serve a different purpose for me.

How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?

For the most part, all of my songs are lyrically driven and all come from a personal place, including “Take Me Home Pt 1.” That’s how they’re all the same. It’s different from the rest of the album in the sense that if you listened to each song in isolation from the others, you may end up categorizing them in different spectrums of the rock or folk genres. They all seem to lean in a different musical direction while all somehow still being me. “Take Me Home” is definitely the jazziest song on the album.

What was the writing process for the song?

This is actually one of those songs where half the words came to me while I was in the shower; I remember turning the water off halfway through and running to grab my guitar. I didn’t even bother to dry off. The rest came over time; variations here and there. The original concept for the melody came via a jam I was having with my cousin years ago; we played together in college and called ourselves “The Last Great Regime.” We kind of “raised” this song, so to speak, throughout college; a few changes here, a few changes there. It’s in its final version now of course. Some of my best writing moments still come from playing alongside that dude. I hope he’s reading this. He has no idea I plan on taking him on tour if we ever get there.

What does this song’s lyric mean to you?

These lyrics come from a pretty lonely time. I was in college when I wrote this, and I was around people all the time. I just couldn’t help but feel trapped inside myself and very lonely. I was in a relationship at the time and was having a hard time understanding where I stood in it, I was having a hard time understanding what ‘love’ was and coming to peace with it. I remember longing to be somewhere else; physically, emotionally, mentally, but not knowing exactly where that was. I wanted to go “home,” obtain the essential warmth and feeling of what that was, and I didn’t know where to look. I just wanted to go there.

What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?

It’s an intimate song and I think goes best performed barebones; just me and a guitar. It’s more personal that way. I do most of my gigs unplugged and it can really have an emotional effect on the audience. It’s raw; the song is raw. It’s a vulnerable position to be in, on-stage alone in a dim room, especially when you’re singing emotionally driven lyrics. Seeing me perform this can be really engaging if you can relate lyrically. At least I hope so, I want to move people.

Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?

To a certain degree. I love an engaging lyrical piece and I love the acoustic sound; but I can’t promise that’s my constant definition. Like I said before, all the songs from the album are different so it’s hard to stand behind just one and say “this is me, one-hundred percent.”
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
There’s no video planned for this particular song at the moment, but we did just finish shooting a video for the last song off of “the honesty theory” called “Devil Creep.” Similarly though, “Devil Creep” is also a slower song where I’m trying to identify my place within a certain experience. The video is in its editing phases as we speak and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it came out. We shot at an abandoned mental health facility in the snow; very cool visually. I’d like to be able to do a concept video for all of my songs; it’d be great to encompass aspects of visual art behind each piece.

One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?

I started playing music publicly when I realized people were relating emotionally to songs I had written for myself as a form of reflection. In that sense I’m a selfish artist; I write for me, but we’re all human beings and share common experiences. When people like how you express certain aspects of the human experience, there’s something really cool about that. I want people to hear my songs and think about their own lives. As for the end goal, I’d like to be able to support myself and the people I love with just music and art. I don’t need to be on the cover of Rolling Stone; it’d sure as hell be awesome though. - iMoveiLive Interview

"Nolan Kennedy - The Honesty Theory"

The Honesty Theory was released a few weeks ago, what's been the best response to the album so far?

Nolan Kennedy: The response so far has been really overwhelming actually. We're getting a lot of love back on this album. It's pretty great hearing things, personally, especially on Facebook and text message and through word of mouth; people talk to other people I know who are just sending so much love back, they're just saying how much it's affecting them. Just, if they're really into the tune then everybody's got a different opinion on a song, everybody's got a different flavor, so many favorites. It's nice waking up and somebody you haven't heard from in a while just bought your album and is like 'I think it's great and I love what you're doing' and I guess that's the biggest thing is, you know, people really appreciate what we're trying to do.

How would you describe the album?

I would describe the album as seven songs and I think that's the perfect size nowadays 'cause everyone's really interested in a single but this album is more of a project, it's a collection. I think if I [had] made twelve songs on an LP it would be a little more difficult to digest, you might get lost a little easier, in this giant digital music world that we've created, you know, I think seven songs is easy to digest and it's easy to take in because every song is a little bit different. I have so many different influences in my life and I wrote the songs at various times and chapters in my life where I was either into different sounds or in different bands, you know, how old I was and so it's all a little different but it all dances around the same idea. We chose to do songs that I had written years ago: "Apologize", for example, was the first song I ever wrote and "Cover You" and "Devil Creep" are some more recent songs. Because this is my first album, you know, just as a new album, I think it's important to, if you're going to know an artist, to know them from the beginning, so we thought it was important to take songs up to my life thus far, rather than strictly newer material. I wanted everybody to see where the songs used to be and where they come from, where I come from, 'cause each song is personal so it's my way of kind of sharing my story.

Is there a track from the album you're most happy with the way it turned out or really want people to pay attention to?

I think my two favorite songs on the album are probably "For Jaclyn", and that's due to, you know, that's one of the relatively old songs. Some of the guitar work and harmonic and things like that I just think of as basic and I think that all just came together very nicely. It sounds nice and it's a very poetic song, but the song that I am probably most proud of, based off the response I've gotten, is probably "Devil Creep". It's a very simple song, melodic, but it's a very personal song to me and, you know, getting up on stage and playing that song, it's the last song I always play because it's the hardest to play. A lot of history goes into that song and some of the references are pretty direct, like I talk about my mother and my siblings and my father but, you know, for people who know me and know my background, they are overwhelmingly moved by that song and those who really don't know me - I think everybody can relate to sometime or some instance or something in their life where they just think "why". You know, there's nobody to blame but things are just hard and they're just not going your way and you're not really sure what it is and that's what the devil is in my song. Everyone can relate to that so even people who I don't know, who I don't have a history with, find solace in that song; they can relate to it and it really makes them reflect and for me to put something so personal out there - I mean, that's kind of the point, I guess, for me doing this is to put out personal things - that song in particular and the overwhelming response has just been like "I feel you" and really moving people. That's what I love the most about this song. So that's my favorite song: "Devil Creep".

Is there an artist whose work has inspired your sound or writing style? Any current artists you take inspiration from?

It's kind of a mix; I'm really a '90's kid so a lot of those bands I grew up listening to, like Foo Fighters and Nirvana, songs with messages, but my writing style.. I don't know. I really don't know; I have no idea where it comes from. I know that growing up I played with my [cousin]; I learned most of my guitar work from my cousin; he's kind of like my older brother figure and I always used to watch him play and that's kind of how I learned, for the most part. I taught myself based off of watching him play so a lot of my style I developed by watching him and other people. My sound though is very basic, you know, melodies are catching and lyric driven. So, I guess I would say, anybody '90's and any old school singer-songwriters; I'm really into blues like Muddy Waters - things with a solid melody and the lyrics are driven too, I guess I'm just inspired by everybody.

Oh yeah, Alexi Murdoch; I'm really into Alexi Murdoch right now. I really do enjoy Ed Sheeran and what he does with lyrics; I think he's extremely talented. I listen to a lot of those guys just because they have a killer melody, killer sound, simplicity and, you know, it's just really, really awesome.. Who else am I listening to right now? James Bay. James Bay is killer, man. He's got a great acoustic sound, rough voice, bluesy, definitely him.

What tracks have you got on you iPod now?

Actually, really embarrassing story: On the subway the other day I was coming down from my girlfriend's place and I had just smoked a joint before I got on the subway and it's jam packed and the one One Direction song that I have on my shuffle pops up on the subway on the screen and I leave it on because, I'm like, 'this is alright'. This girl sitting next to me on the subway taps me on the shoulder and gives me the dirtiest look and holds up her iPod and she's got the same One Direction song playing. She's like fourteen years old and I had a full beard at the time; I was totally embarrassed, like, "ah, I got caught".

So, that one One Direction song, James Bay, Alexi Murdoch, Pink Floyd - I just downloaded the re-mastered greatest hits - I'm really into classics too.

What's the best part about performing?

The best part about performing is watching people sing along; I really enjoy looking out into the crowd and seeing everybody's mouth move. At the album release party there was a hundred and thirty something plus people there and, you know, there's so many lights on my face and I can't really see everybody, but I'm looking out at these faces and you can hear people sing back at you and that's really cool, when people sing back to you.

How would you describe your sound as a whole to someone who had never heard it?

My sound as a whole I would say is acoustic indie rock, lyrically driven, with some blues and folk influences.

What do you want people to take away from your music?

A unique listening experience, really. I want people to listen to the songs and hopefully they like it and it's catchy and they like the melody and all that stuff but, really, I hope they can relate to what I'm saying or they find some sort of relationship to the words and can relate and then therefore reflect and think about their own experiences. I think that enhances relationships, is self-reflection, and so I think I want people to take away from my music is listen, relate, and reflect on your own life as well. Everybody shares kind of the same baggage a lot of the time that we don't talk about and music's a way to express that so, hopefully, people can find comfort in that. - The Music Rag

"June 2015 - Artists To Watch"

Skope: At what point in life did you decide to pursue music as a career and not just a hobby?

I think I always knew, but everything and everyone around me was telling me not to do that – and to follow a more “proper” and normal career path. After college when the decision was in front of me, I decided to take a chance and move to NYC. It’s not like it kept me up at night, I didn’t really think about it – the choice was obvious.

Skope: When are you most creative and how much time per week goes to music?

I play guitar everyday for at least an hour – some days more than others, it all depends on how busy I am that day. Regardless, all my free time I dedicate to furthering my music and my brand in every way.

Skope: What are you currently promoting the most via an album, tour, single etc?

I just released my first music video to “devil creep” from my debut album “the honesty theory,” it came out last Fall.

Skope: Will you attend or play any music festivals this summer?

This summer I’m looking to expand my influences through travel – both domestically and internationally. Because of this I’ve declined any local music festivals but am still playing select shows scattered throughout the summer.

Skope: What are you most proud of so far accomplishing in music?

I’m most proud of the fact that I have such a supportive fan base that has been crucial in make this entire journey truly independent. Everything I’ve done so far has been a success because of their love and belief in the tunes.

Skope: What is coming up for you & where you at online?

We just revamped the website and I’m currently working with an up and coming NYC electronic producer called Creature in the Woods on a joint project. It’s going to be really slick – look out for it sometime this Summer. I’m also currently writing new material for my next album, with a lot of blues influence and catchy guitar work – but still remaining lyrically driven. I’m really stoked about it! - Skope Magazine

"Indie Submission: Nolan Kennedy's "Devil Creep""

From the indie submission bucket, I present Nolan Kennedy. NYC inhabitant, Nolan is a solid singer songwriter worth a listen. I clicked on this video in Nolan’s super great email (I tell you, there’s an art to writing a cold email pitch to music supervisors/bloggers…he nailed it) and was happily surprised by his music. The guy has a knack for songwriting and singing, that’s clear.
I scrolled through his Spotify music and I like what I heard. Nice work, Nolan Kennedy. I wish you luck!
Peep this video, friends.
Enjoy! - She Blogs About Music


"The Honesty Theory" released October 17, 2014. Available everywhere.



Born with an ear for sound, Nolan Kennedy draws listeners in with his compelling lyrics and subtle but powerful melodies. His debut album “the honesty theory” has been receiving much praise and has been quickly gaining traction since its release in October. His first single “Apologize” is currently circulating radio in the Philadelphia area.

Nolan’s music comes from a deeply personal place. His lyrics tell stories about his life experiences and those who are a part of it; from problems at home to more personally centered problems, the good and the bad side of humanity, and finding a place somewhere within and between it all. His songwriting comes from a place of vulnerability, for other people to find.  

Born and raised in the Greater Philadelphia Area, he began playing violin as a child but quickly moved to guitar because he felt it was more conducive to thought. Nolan felt he could more easily fill in the blank spaces of what he couldn’t play by singing whatever was going on in his mind.  

Developing his unique sound in college, Nolan collaborated with various artists of different backgrounds. From this, he began taking pieces from each style and method while slowly crafting his own sound. He moved to New York City after graduation to further explore the evolution of his music and performance.  

Inspired by life’s events, Nolan’s ultimate goal is to help people…through writing his aim is to help listeners reflect on their hardships as well as appreciate their greatest memories. 

“The lyrics of other people’s songs are what made me want to become a writer; and the way melody has a way of taking over your entire body is what made me want to become a musician. The way music gets me through life…I owe that back to the world.”

Band Members