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“I’d rather record my heart and soul into 5 songs… then do a piss poor job with 10”
While it may never be an inspirational quote worth remembering, those thoughts come from Kyley Styles, a Canadian musician who simply tells it like it is. That’s the way he’s always been, even while a member of Calgary band Satori Life. (RIP 2005-2011). His first group had some success in the local scene and even took home a radio station grant worth $100,000. With that, they would record a 14 song album – a release which spawned two radio singles and a music video. Those learning curves would eventually lead to Kyley’s hunger for a solo project.
After their dismantling in January 2011, Kyley’s musical journey took him to the studio of Crazy Lady Records, where for the next 5 months, Styles and producer Joshua Walsh would begin to create “One Short Of A Six Pack”. The 5 song package will mark the 25 year old’s debut EP release.
“I am a quarter century in and I’ve kinda effed the dog so far. I finally have a product that I will be proud of for a long time. Me and Josh fought for every inch. We left it all on the field. Even if only 100 people hear this in this next 100 years, chances are I would make at least 1 of them cry. Watch out onions, I’m taking over your job of bringing tears to people’s eyes”.
That’s just a little taste of the warped sense of humour that comes from Kyley’s mouth – a product of radio broadcasting and a natural songwriter since birth. Styles has played several instruments his whole life, and adds several different flavours to the EP. Kyley contributes the drums, electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, keyboards, vocals, and a few different other sounds to the 5 song release, which will be available on ITunes this July.
“The idea with this concept was to explain that I’m so many different people all rolled into one. I’m a jerk. I’m a nice guy. I’m a lover. I’m a sarcastic prick. I make mistakes. I’m not a pushover. I’m just like anybody else with flaws and feelings. The best thing about being any kind of artist is you get to be yourself, you get to express the real you.”
Kyley knew from the start that this release wouldn’t be just about the songs. It had to be about the project as a whole. He reached out to his longtime friend, Brad Hembrow from ConceptD to do the photo shoot. The pictures and album cover are vital in explaining the concept.
“Me and Brad thought it would be wicked if we showcased my many bi-polar personalities. Every guy on the album cover represents a song on the EP. All these chaps wrote one of the tunes – I am lucky to have something that most bands aren’t fortunate enough to find – 5 terrific songwriters.”
The mini-album couldn’t have been done without the finishing touches – His former Satori Life bandmate, Uncle Bill, contributes violin parts on 2 tracks. “One Short Of A Six Pack” was mixed by Russ Long in Nashville, who’s long list of mixing credits include “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer. Jimmy Brick from New Jersey mastered the project.
“I knew I had to get Uncle Billy on ‘Classhole’ and ‘Just “A Man’ – we played these songs live, and he helped carve them. He is an integral part to those two tracks. As for Russ, he was an amazing find for me. He took this project a step farther then I had imagined in the beginning. I told him from the beginning, I needed him to show some love to these tracks, and he loved him like Romeo loved Juliet. These tracks are tragic! Then Jimmy steps in and takes them over the top – he is very impressive. I am lucky to have found a great formula.”
The opening track, ‘Halo’ is Styles’ most rebellious song on the project. The electric guitar riffs and drums have a refreshing punk feel, while fellow heavy tune ‘Eye Of The Beholder’ sounds closer to new age anthem rock. ‘Close The Curtain’ has hooks with mainstream radio written all over them. ‘Just A Man’ showcases the softer side of the man, with a passionate chorus that takes you on a journey. Finally, ‘Classhole’ is the song with the most credibility on the album – as it was a staple of Satori Life’s live show for 3 years.
This step of the Journey is almost complete for Kyley Styles. While he has his sights set on bigger and better things, he’s clearly excited about what the future holds after this release.
“I didn’t work a year on these tracks for nothing. They explain who I was at many different points in my life. These songs have grown from nothing before my very eyes. If you don’t like them, Well… I don’t like you! I’m just kidding. Buy my album please?”
Kyley Styles is now playing live shows as a member of Blacksky Beach. Check them out at http://www.facebook.com/blackskybeach