ECHO BLOOM: Kyle Evans Shares 5 Influential Albums + Three Little Birds
by Kyle Evans
Whenever I’m making a record I don’t tend to listen to a lot of other music because it just crowds my head. It makes opportunities like this so unique because you can pick apart what you made and figure out where it came from. Limiting myself to 5 is hard – there are so many other things that could have made the cut: Joni Mitchell’s Taming the Tiger, Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind, The Apples in Stereo’s Fun Trick Noisemaker. Enjoy!
D’Angelo – Black Messiah
The last big European tour we were on we listened to this album about ten million times in the van. There are some albums you listen to and you can understand how they were constructed – patient work, constant refinement and editing, and some production. This album doesn’t sound like it was crafted by human hands. It’s like someone winning 64 games of chess at the same time while blindfolded. I love it so much.
R.E.M. – Up
It’s a weird favorite R.E.M. album, but it’s always been mine. There were so many paths they could have taken after Bill Berry left the group, but the turn here is so amazingly brave. Peter Buck’s guitars changed from a Byrds/Petty-like melodicism into a more textural drone, which was hugely influential for me. And “At My Most Beautiful” is one of the best R.E.M. songs, period.
Tom Waits – Mule Variations
Picking a favorite Tom Waits album is like picking a favorite child. “Mule Variations” is like a revue of all of his highlights – it combines that Swordfishtrombones skronk with the lyricism of Closing Time. And then a song like “Chocolate Jesus” which is like a modern entry into the Great American Songbook (his Letterman performance of that song is maybe the best thing that’s ever happened on network television).
Gillian Welch – Time, the Revelator
I return to the last song “I Dream a Highway” often. All of her work (this record included) is so restrained and well crafted that it makes this beautifully asymmetric endpiece stand out even more. And the guts to end an album with a 14-minute odyssey that tells a personal history of Country music! Love.
“I’m an undisguisable shade of twilight.
Any second now, I’m gonna turn myself on.
In the blue display of the cool cathode ray,
I dream a highway back to you.”
The Feelies – The Good Earth
I listened to this a lot when we were doing a few of the songs on “Wake,” notably “Beautiful Day”. Their first album, “Crazy Rhythms,” is the one that gets all the attention, but this one is similarly hypnotic but using a completely different palette – as if Rembrandt was given only watercolors. Incidentally, produced by Peter Buck!
ECHO BLOOM Three Little Birds
Band photo courtesy of Public Display PR
Produced by Kevin Salem
Occasionally joined by Josh Grove, Steve Sasso
“A new primitive culture has emerged. Worshiping the faded relics of a past society they have no connection to. Survival blends into spiritualism and ritual.” – Kyle Evans / Echo Bloom