Kyle Park Breaks New Ground on ‘The Blue Roof Sessions’
Kyle Park is well aware that his new album The Blue Roof Sessions, out Friday (Oct. 23), is unlike his past releases.
For his fifth studio album, Park took a different approach. Instead of going into a studio and recording as many songs as he could in one shot, he rented a mansion in West Austin, Texas on Lake Travis and brought the studio equipment and instruments to record one song a day, sometimes finishing the lyrics that very day.
The singer-songwriter-guitarist admits that he has a producer's brain, and wanted to create a big sound for The Blue Roof Sessions, which he self-produced and calls an experiment. While the rock-leaning guitar licks and pop-styled songwriting may have been a risk for him, Park says he was more fearful of the sound of his vocals, because they are very reverb-y and open and not what listeners in country music are used to.
I like rock music. I like all kinds of music. I think the listeners like all kinds of music.
"My feeling is like an actor's approach," Park tells Taste of Country. "I could make the same movie over and over, but it's boring. I want to make a different movie. It's not like I've changed and I'm going to be a rock musician from now on. No. I like rock music. I like all kinds of music. I think the listeners like all kinds of music."
Referencing country music as a "mutt genre," Park explains how today's country is influenced by everything. Where rap music sounds like rap music and the rock genre is easily defined as being rock, country music has rap and rock in it right now, as well as pop.
"My niche is to keep making different music," he asserts. "It's fun. It takes the show new places, too. As a recording artist, the point is to record things to play at the shows. This album from top to bottom feels like a concert to me."
Songs like new single "Come On" and "What Goes Around Comes Around" are already being received well at Park's live shows, where he's been slowly adding in the new material.
"I'm watching people sing the second chorus the second time around and they've never heard it before," he says of "Come On."
The album includes two standout covers, Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonite" and Dean Dillon's "I See Red." While Park says there was no deep reason to cover "Rock Me Tonite" other than that it's "a badass song," he says its melody spoke to him.
"It has a country feel in the fact that it has melody," he says of "Rock Me Tonite." "There's something always moving about the song, and it fit the record. To me, it gets you ready for something new."
While he says he left "Rock Me Tonite" as is for the most part, Park took more creative liberty on "I See Red."
This album from top to bottom feels like a concert to me.
"I really fell in love with that song lyrically and musically and melodically. I changed up everything," he admits. "His had twin fiddles and it was positive. I recorded it much darker. I tried to make it fit the lyrics. I think it turned out awesome, really cool and unique and very me."
A lover of all genres of music, just because The Blue Roof Sessions embodies more rock influences doesn't mean that Park is leaving the country genre. In fact, far from it.
"The next record I make might be a tribute to Ray Price and 3/4 shuffle the entire time or Bob Wills. I like that music, too," he says. "It's important to keep making music."
The Blue Roof Sessions is available now.
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