Kyle Stevens

Kyle Stevens

Kyle Stevens

Songs from the Orange Room

Seattle singer/songwriter Kyle Stevens inches toward the folky, Americana stylings that the Emerald City is gradually becoming known for without leaping full-bodied into it. Stevens is, first and foremost, a rock musician, and the fingerprints of Seattle’s early ’90s grunge heyday can be detected albeit in a relatively less noisy fashion in his work. But there’s no denying what inspired the guitar fuzz of “Getaway Car” or the brittle riffs of “Thicker Than Leather,” which wouldn’t have been too out of place on Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy album. Stevens even sings with a deeper, more husky tone on “Thicker Than Leather,” reminiscent of Eddie Vedder’s arena-filling booming voice without self-consciously aping him. However, Stevens takes a rootsier approach than his Puget Sound predecessors, his songs expressing an obvious affection for Tom Petty and the Gin Blossoms.

The radiant opener, “Sparkle and Fall,” sounds nothing like what follows, though. On this cut, Stevens veers closely to the incandescent new wave of Echo & the Bunnymen. With its lush strings and ringing guitars, “Sparkle and Fall” could have been a killer Sire Records single circa 1988 when dreamy bands such as the Wild Swans and the Ocean Blue were championed on the college charts. “The Last Time I Was Bored” cranks up the amps while hinting at Stevens’ direction towards Americana. By the third track, the kiss-off “This Is Not a Love Song” (no relation to the Public Image Ltd. post-punk classic although it would have been amusing to hear that given a country makeover), Stevens has embraced the genre, even having Patrick Porter to add pedal steel to the mix.

Although featuring only six tunes, Songs from the Orange Room doesn’t feel half-full. Stevens doesn’t cut us short here. Every track has a memorable hook or two, and Stevens is versatile enough to prevent singer/songwriter boredom from kicking in.

Kyle Stevens:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Ramen Shop
    Ramen Shop

    A young man searches for the secrets of his family and great Ramen.

  • Southern Avenue
    Southern Avenue

    Keep On (Concord Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Don Felder
    Don Felder

    Don Felder took music fans down Eagles’ memory lane at Disney Epcot’s® Garden Rocks Concert Series, and Michelle Wilson loved every nostalgic moment of it.

  • Alfred Sergel IV
    Alfred Sergel IV

    Alfred Sergel IVtet (The Tam Tam Group). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Tanika Charles
    Tanika Charles

    The Gumption (Record Kicks). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives