Interview: Kylie Hughes Talks Plans for 2018 and More

Photo credit: Shalon Goss

Kylie Hughes took some time to tell us about her plans for 2018, filming a music video, and much more. Check out the interview below.

When people think of the LA music scene, they largely think of Hollywood venues. What is the scene like in other areas of Southern California? Is it a totally different vibe from the beach to downtown to OC and everywhere in between?

I think you bring the vibe with whatever kind of show you present. The crowds can be different but it’s all about capturing people’s attention and being honest on stage. Giving a good show and sharing the music rather than just going through the motions of performing.

How do you prepare for a live show?

A couple days of rehearsal. I was just explaining to someone how if me and the band haven’t played in a while, it usually takes at least one sacrificial Rehearsal to shake the rust off. I usually come home from the first one like, “idk, we sound pretty off… I hope we can pull it together, no one knows their parts…we’re gonna get boo’d off the stage” (very dramatic, I know). Then after the second rehearsal, it’s all smooth sailing and everyone eases into the material and we sound amazing. It’s a vicious cycle haha. And then I like to keep my “day of” before a show pretty light schedule-wise. Maybe get a workout in and be alone for a little bit to conserve energy but also get my nervous wiggles out.

You released your self-titled album last year. What was the inspiration behind those songs?

Two years of livin’! I was inspired sonically by musicians and co-writers in LA and Nashville, so that album has a spectrum of pop to country to folk.

The music video for “Leave It Alone” clearly has some Halloween influence. Is Halloween one of your favorite holidays?

Coincidentally, no. I wasn’t even allowed to celebrate Halloween when I was little so I think I now seize every opportunity to dress up! And maybe be the villain for fun.

Who did you work with for the video?

My fiancé DP’d the video and I directed which was really fun as my first stab at directing. I also enlisted my cousins to help out, too! They did the choreography, helped with the set design. It was a family affair. Gotta pull those favors when you’re indie, but I think it makes the video even more special because it has all those personal touches.

You’ve shared the stage with The Beach Boys and have quite the list of accomplishments. Is there anything you’re aiming towards next?

Radio charting would be really really nice.

What’s your plan for 2018?

2018, I’m still promoting my album but near the end of this year I will begin the next big project. I’m also doing lots of promotional giveaways to bring awareness to a couple songs, mainly sending people free pizzas. You know, the gift that keeps on giving. 🍕 But there should be maybe one more video in between. 🙂

Thank you for your time! Where can our readers keep up with you and your work?

Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook at @misskyliehughes.

Also, check my website for updates.

Monday Musings: Black Panther Reigns

monday musings

Marvel released Black Panther on February 16th and it’s seen a lot of well-deserved buzz. I was able to see it on Friday and it was a fantastic movie. Marvel hasn’t been perfect, but they’ve had a solid run since starting the MCU with Iron Man. Here are some articles to check out on Black Panther if you’ve seen the movie already.

Black Panther isn’t just politically conscious, but is also a fantastic pop culture artifact

This isn’t the first black-led superhero film, but it is perhaps the highest profile ever given to a film so celebratory of black American culture and its African roots, which in itself feels revelatory as a breath of creative fresh air in a genre commonly bemoaned as resting too much on comfortable laurels.

Leigh Monson reviewed the film for The Eagan Enterprise. This review is a quick read that points out how it hits on a pop culture level and what that means for the film.

Black Panther’s Right Thing

The truth is that they didn’t dare put the same kinds of handcuffs they did in the past on Coogler. They trusted him largely because they had to trust him. The optics of doing the alternative were too risky. And that was terrifying to them, but they still gave up control and were prepared to take the loss, never expecting in a million years that this film would be the mega-success they’re seeing now (hopefully Hollywood is finally picking up how their modern audience actually works).

Film Crit Hulk is always worth reading.  This one is definitely more of a long read, but it’s as entertaining and insightful as you’d expect it to be.

‘Black Panther’ Is Marvel’s First Genuine Masterpiece

I’m trying to imagine being Ryan Coogler, the movie’s 31-year-old superstar director, at the start of this project, tasked with a job as monumental as this, burdened by a keen sense of the inherent inability to please everyone, and still having to make the movie.

Writing for The Ringer, K. Austin Collins has a nice article on the film. He discusses how you can love something, but have complicated feelings about it at the same time.

If you’re reading this and haven’t seen Black Panther yet, go do that. It’s worth your time.

You can find all previous editions of Monday Musings here.

New Music Friday (2/16/18): Runaway Brother, Senses Fail, and More

New Music Friday
Photo Credit: Jack Hamilton

New Music Friday is here and we have some music that you should definitely check out.

Belle & Sebastian – How to Solve Our Human Problems

Boy Rex – Live! From the Far-Away

I’m With Her – See You Around

Pianos Become the Teeth – Wait For Love

Runaway Brother – New Pocket

Senses Fail – If There Is Light, It Will Find You

Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive

Playlist: Songs That Inspire Off Road Minivan

Off Road Minivan put together a list of songs that inspires them to play the way that they do. You can check out the playlist and why they selected each song below.

Band Of Horses – “The Great Salt Lake”

This song has a size to that’s very interesting since tonally the guitars are thin. It’s big and melodic yet sounds like your standard indie rock band. I dig it.

Coheed and Cambria – “Blood Red Summer”

This song was when they got very poppy. This song is super melodic and catchy with counterpoint vocal melodies interweaving throughout the song. It’s got great rhythmic phrasing. I Love the bridge and ending of this song.

Manchester Orchestra – “The Gold”

It’s a song that truly fills the room. The vocals layer with the music in a way that completely captivated the crowd.

Pianos Become The Teeth – “Late Lives”

From start to finish it just sucks me in. The vocals are so sincere and caring.

Thursday – “For the Workforce Drowning”

I always loved how this song crashes right in with an intense ebb and flow of energy.  It’s this kind of immediate impact mixed with musical storytelling that embodies how we love to organize music ourselves.

Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

Loved this song from the arcade fire, such a banger chorus. The whole song really places you in a particular mellow yet upbeat atmosphere.  The balance of effortless cool and danceability makes for a very accessible sound that invited you to feel part of something exclusive.

Snow Patrol – “Chasing Cars”

This song is just a classic and that can’t be denied. Whether you love it or hate it I’m sure everyone has some memories associated with it.  It has this simplicity that somehow evokes so much emotion and constantly builds tension throughout the entire song.  Truly an epic in its genre.

Trade Wind – “Lowest Form”

I’m a huge fan of dark ambient riffs and this track does it for me. The drum groove and vocal melody through seal the deal.

Thrice – “The Window”

The guitars in this song are amazing. It’s like the guitars and the vocals are speaking to each other.

Death Cab For Cutie – “Soul Meets Body”

I first listened to this song about 10 years ago and still do often. It’s catchy, simple and perfect.

Moving Mountains – “My Life Is Like A Chase Dream (And I’m Still Having Chase Dreams)”

The strong beginning and moving chorus are an inspiration to create  impactful parts that really jump out at you.

Armor For Sleep – “The Truth About Heaven”

The way the guitars in this song work together and play off each other are really what inspire me. Combined with the awesomely Hooky vocal melodies.

Deftones – “You’ve Seen The Butcher”

This song captures the “heavier” influence behind some of our parts. Also messing around with different/changing timings is something very inspiring to our writing.

Bayside – “Guardrail”

The way this song is written is something that really stands out. The song structure is extremely smart, the parts flow awesomely into one another, and it takes me back to listening to music as a kid.

Thursday – “Standing on the Edge of Summer”

Thursday always did things a little differently in their own style. Being able to capture your own unique, affective style is something that always grabbed me about them.

Saosin – “It’s Far Better To Learn”

The faced paced intricate lead guitars of saosin were always something I was inspired by and use to draw ideas from for certain lead parts. Not to mention every song on this album is a hit.

Monday Musings: Celebration Rock Returns and More Podcasts

monday musings

Monday Musings returns with podcasts on podcasts for you. Celebration Rock returned today  and Vox is launching a new show. Check them out below.

Celebration Rock dropped two new episodes. The first is with Brian Fallon and the second is with Jeff Rosenstock. Steven Hyden discusses albums that Bruce Springsteen released in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Brian Fallon joins to discuss 1973’s Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle.

Jeff Rosenstock joins to discuss Born To Run, which is the first big album of Springsteen’s career.

Vox’s new daily podcast, Today, Explained, launches February 19

Take us along on your evening commute Monday through Friday (not on the weekends) and our promise to you is that by the time you get home — or to happy hour — you’ll not only understand the biggest events happening in the world, you’ll be able to explain them to your family and friends.

Vox is launching Today, Explained next week. It sounds similar to The Daily, which I honestly haven’t checked out. However, I might check out both soon just to see how either fits into my podcast listening habits. This sounds like a good way to keep up on the news that maybe I don’t necessarily want to read during the week.

Interview: Whale Bones

Nathan Kane of Whale Bones recently answered our questions about the music scene in Indianapolis, their music video for “Backyard,” and much more. Check out the full interview below.

Being from Indianapolis, Indiana, what type of music scene did you grow up with?

I didn’t grow up in a music community, really. The majority of my exposure to music, when I was younger, came from my parents. They showed me a lot of grassroots folk, which I think had a strong influence on my songwriting and my choice to take acoustic guitar lessons. I’m also grateful to have grown up in the internet era, because I was exposed to a lot of alternative and emo bands from the early 2000s. I had a few friends in high school who showed me cool bands that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned of, but I never experienced an overarching community of music in Indianapolis.

What led to starting Whale Bones?

I’ve been writing music since I was in high school, but only started taking it seriously in college. Once I moved to a town where I didn’t know anyone, I began spending time writing alone in my room. At the time, it was only meant for my ears, and I used it to focus my energies on something productive and positive. Once I met my friend, Paul, we immediately connected through our mutual love of various bands, and our love of playing music. We started playing on the street in order to make a little money. Over Spring Break one year, we took a road trip to Florida and spent the week relaxing and playing music. I wrote five songs during that week that later developed into being The Seaside EP. It sort of just fell into place, and Whale Bones became the vehicle for those songs to come out.

The Seaside EP was inspired by a trip to Florida. What inspired the band’s upcoming release, Island Fire?

My grandfather built a cabin on a lake in the middle of nowhere, Canada. The closest sign of civilization is a 30 minute drive away. My family goes up there every year to get away from the world and to reset. There’s no electricity, and we use propane in order to light the cabin at night. Paul has been up with my family before, and we had a blast exploring islands and enjoying the solitude. A few of the songs on the new record were written up there.

One summer, we saw smoke on the horizon, and took a boat out to see what was happening. There was an island that had caught on fire due to a campfire that had not been properly doused. The embers slowly ate away at moss in the rock and eventually spread to cover the whole island. There were firefighters that were able to stop the fire. After they had taken care of most of the island, I climbed on to take a few photos, which ended up being the album art for Island Fire.

Who did you work with for the “Backyard” music video?

My friend Joe Etemadi filmed the music video. He approached me about working on a music video together, and after a year of talking, we finally started working on the project. We collaborated on storyboard and executing the shoot. After it was shot, we both worked on editing and coloring the final product.

My friend John agreed to be our character for the video. He once spent time traveling the US and living in the back of his van, so he felt like the perfect person to take the role.

What is your focus leading up to the album release?

Right now I’m focusing on making a new music video, and getting everything else ready for the release. Doing booking, management, and press on your own is tough, but it gives me control over the whole product. I’m trying to set aside time for writing and creating, because that’s what gives me fulfillment.

What are your plans after the release? Are you heading out on tour?

We have a short tour being planned for right before the release, and my intent is to tour the record with some frequency throughout 2018. I plan on doing some solo stripped down tours, and also larger tours with the full band. Traveling is such a fulfilling experience. You get to meet some of the kindest and most interesting people on the road. It’s also great to reconnect with old friends!

Do you have any hobbies outside of the band?

I’m really interested in hand-painted signs and other forms of visual art. While I wouldn’t consider myself a visual artist, I do enjoy making art and discovering other artists. I also like hiking and exploring state parks that are near me. there than that, I like trying different beers with my friends!

Thanks for your time! Where can our readers keep up with the band?

Thank YOU!

You can keep up with what music we’re listening to on our Spotify Playlist.