Friday, September 26, 2014

Free Friday: Kicklighter – “The Fascinating Thinking Machine”

Kicklighter is the Tallahassee-based band led by Everett Young.  The Fascinating Thinking Machine, their debut album was self-released earlier this year as a pay-what-you-want download via the band’s Bandcamp page.  Young, who has a PhD in political psychology picked up the guitar four years ago at the age of 45 after some uncertainty in the job market and has hit the ground running, now giving lessons to other aspiring musicians.  On the album he plays the guitar, keyboards and harmonica and the sound he creates is a throwback to smart 80’s-leaning pop-rock that brings to mind acts like Tears For Fears yet with touches of 70’s classic rock, 60’s pop and acoustic folk for good measure.    

“Until You See The Sun” opens the album with shadowy cinematic synth flourishes, treble-thin guitars and a rolling rhythm that propels the song until the sing-along chorus hits like a ray of sunshine for a standout moment.   A loping bass line and steady acoustic guitars drive the earnest folk-pop tune “Building A Robot” which showcases Young’s smooth vocal style.  Next, “The Sultan Of Brunei” adds some laid back 70’s soft rock flavor with glassy keys and an arrangement of French horn, trumpet and flugelhorn to the catchy call-and-response vocal melodies.  Another standout, “When Howie Dressed Me Down” features a jittery New Wave-inspired rhythm, glimmering synths and a melodic guitar solo.  The eleven-track album’s centerpiece is ‘The Professor” which sets Young’s personal journey to his music career alongside a bouncy island rhythm that sounds like James Taylor fronting the Talking Heads.         
Everett Young and Kicklighter have created an inspiring pure pop pleasure with their promising debut album The Fascinating Thinking Machine.     

Stream/Download The Fascinating Thinking Machine here: 

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