Kyle Andrews
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Kyle Andrews

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | MAJOR

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | MAJOR
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Nashville's One Stop DIY Shop"

Nashville native Kyle Andrews expels a candor about his life in a way that's unusual to hear if you haven't known him forever; he's enthusiastically matter-of-fact, honest and persuasive. He articulates a thorough understanding of the recording process and takes as much pride in writing a song that is used in a Holiday Inn commercial ("You Always Make Me Smile") as he does orchestrating the business side of things. "To give you an idea of how I work, the decision to create Kangaroo came about three months ago. The rest happened that quickly." Andrews contemplates, "I'd be terrified to be signed with somebody big. I know artists on big labels that have taken well over a year to release something. It's important to recognize that nobody cares more about your music than you do. That's the reality." Makes you wish everyone would go DIY.

August 2010 was a big month for Andrews. He released a wildly entertaining and popular music video for his latest single, the buoyant and infectious "You Always Make Me Smile." The video involved coordinating thousands of people to participate in the Guinness World Record setting water balloon fight. Then he released Kangaroo, a stripped-down, folk-injected bedroom electro-pop EP brimming with conversational melodies and anthemic vocals. He's also producing and managing his and other artists' upcoming releases, running his own label (Elephant Lady Records) and performing gigs around the nation.

The endless responsibilities associated with being purely DIY don't dull Andrews' certain optimism, "I'm 100% responsible for how this goes," he says, referring to his career. "At the end of the day, I'm used to having total control during recording, so controlling how the albums are released and the way money is spent makes sense for me." Working with his latest project, Elephant Lady Records, also offers an opportunity to help his friends, "I'm producing a record from a Chicago band called Horse In The Sea and if the label develops into an opportunity for them, then I love the idea," says Andrews. "I think most people should start off by releasing their first records themselves, you know - working a day job and saving up money. Take the time to really make that first impression. It's not wise to go after getting signed too soon, it can negatively affect your songwriting."

Listening to an Andrews record, it's hard to imagine all the time he invests: he not only engineers them, but also proficiently plays all the instruments (keyboards, guitar, bass, synths, drums, etc.) and sings. "They say that the best songs are the ones you can sit down and play on an acoustic guitar and have it be great nakedly, but for me the other instruments and melody parts are the other half of the lyrics," says Andrews. His lone songwriting style does have its luxuries, which he's the first to acknowledge, "I don't have a guitarist, bassist, or keyboardist, so if the part's not working I skip it and try something else. It doesn't hurt my feelings when I cut a guitar part that doesn't work. It keeps the workflow pretty fast-paced. No egos involved." He illustrates his point with the first two songs on Kangaroo, "From concept to recording a first draft took about four-hours each. And that's pretty fast. It's one of those times where the idea of the song was evident; elements fell into place immediately. It's definitely a benefit to having a home studio to translate those ideas into a recording without worrying about booking studio time or teaching parts to other musicians."

Live shows offer a collaborative oasis, "I have a great group of musicians I tour with and that's when I get the mutual element." He adds, "You gain perspective taking a song that is pretty much 100% you, then having other people change things. It's when I get to hear the dynamics of the individual parts working together. It's cool because the other musicians offer ways to improve a part when I maybe felt the song was done. I love that aspect."

Kangaroo, released two years after his critically praised dance-centric full-length, Real Blasty, has maintained "conversational lyrics and lots of melody focus," says Andrews. "Although it's not something I like to be consciously aware of, I tend to know how I want my next record to sound. For my next album, while I'm young and can get away with it, I want to be even more danceable. One that takes the rock energy from 'Tennessee Torture Dreams' and blends it with the beat-heavy sound on 'Sushi.' Something really accessible and listenable." Andrews can't say exactly when he'll release his next LP, but one thing is for sure: we can expect it to be catchy, danceable and 100% himself.
- Performer


Amos In Ohio (2006 Badman Recording Co)
Find Love, Let Go (2007 Badman Recording Co)
Real Blasty (2009 Elephant Lady Records)
KANGAROO (2010 Elephant Lady Records)



Years ago, Kyle Andrews traded Chicago's bone-chilling winters for Nashville's constantly flowing spring of music. Ever since, Kyle has been polishing gems unearthed in the cluttered corners of his bedroom studio. His first official album, Amos In Ohio (2006), set the bar for the thinking-person's indie-pop. Kyle proved that DIY-style production didn't have to lack depth, and his intimate songwriting style (sometimes emotional, sometimes enigmatic, always engaging) delivered tracks that were so fun to sing along with, you didn't mind that they were stuck in your head for weeks. WXPN (NPR) dubbed Amos as "instantly memorable... packed with infectious hooks" and praised Kyle's "ear for melody that's as strong as his songwriting ability."

Kyle answered the praise with his seven-song EP, Find Love, Let Go (2007), including the single "Get Mad," which was featured as KCRW's Song of the Day. Kyle's last full-length, Real Blasty (2009), incorporated all the strengths critics lauded in Kyle's previous work but pushed his sound in a new direction. Darker and more aggressive songs found balance in upbeat, danceable tracks like "Sushi" and polished ballads. Andrews proved his acoustic-pop sensibilities were just as comfortable in big, electronic-laden club surroundings. Tamara Vallejos of NPR described it as " upbeat album for sad people who just want to dance. A lesser artist could get weighed down by the broody lyrics covering unrequited love, insecurities and general ennui. But Andrews pulls it off by pairing his angst with bright electro-pop rhythms and irresistible hooks."

Now, with the KANGAROO EP, on Elephant Lady Records, Andrews is returning to his cheery, sunny pop."This is my best effort at putting out somethinghappy," Kyle says of KANGAROO. "Truth is, I wrote most of these songs when I wasn't very happy at all. Most of them came as relief at the peak of frustration: Just after a moment when I felt totally beat, I would grab the guitar, switch on the drum machine and these songs would appear. They were all telling me something I needed to hear. 'Even if you fall down hard, I know you'll bounce right back' [a lyric from the title track] pretty much sums up the overall message." Like all of Kyle's work, KANGAROO is catchy, with measured doses of synths and beats, but it belies a sweetness that endears Kyle to anyone who listens. "Sushi" appears again as a half-tempo remix, and "You Always Make Me Smile" (recently featured in a series of Holiday Inn commercials) proves Andrews is still intent on making everyone smile.