Like any true-blue rock ‘n’ roller, Kyle Craft finds his muse not under the spell of love but in all of its messy, maddening consequences. The Portland, Oregon, via Louisiana singer/songwriter is admittedly “girl crazy” — he even released a covers album under that very name last year, transposing songs by Jenny Lewis, TLC, St. Vincent, and other powerful female voices with his nasally howl and swampy, Southern-fried flair. But for his 2018 sophomore release for Sub Pop Records, Full Circle Nightmare, his crushing and lusting has gotten the better of him. The album is stocked with vamps and vixens, with one of his more sinister sirens leaving him for another guy on the boozy, stomping lament “Heartbreak Junky.”
In his lovesick blues, Craft turns the blade on himself plenty: “You were a charmer, I was a heartbreak junky/You were a diamond, I was the heap of fool’s gold/You were the jet plane, I was a parachute failing/I was the cheap ad, when you were the centerfold.” His Dylan-esque delivery streams freely and fluidly, as his cavernous growl rumbles over languid country-leaning licks and bursts of brass and pub-rock keys. Recorded live in the studio with his band and producer Chris Funk of The Decemberists, the track has a loose levity to it — so much so, it’s hard not to believe Craft secretly revels in the throes of his addiction.
If you missed Craft at his sold-out show at the Tractor Tavern earlier this month, you may have to catch him elsewhere on the upcoming leg of his tour. For now, check out his new album’s cover art come to life on the lyric video for “Heartbreak Junky,” below and follow him on Facebook for more news and updates. Kyle was just in the KEXP studios, and our video team will launch that on our YouTube channel soon. In the meantime, revisit Kyle's session from April 2016.
Today's song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is "West is my Home II" by Essam, from the 2018 self-released album 12.12.
Today's song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is "Sympacide" by Pion, from the 2018 Sympacide EP on Entreprise.
Today's song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is "Mind & Care" by Please The Trees, from the 2018 album Infinite Dance on Starcastic Records.