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Album Premiere: Hey Kid EP by Karyn Kuhl Band

Karyn Kuhl Band
17 June 2019

Karyn Kuhl Band – Photo Credit: Kelli Glancey

Just when we need them the most, the Karyn Kuhl Band has returned to rock us out of our collective despair during these seriously trying times. Their new EP, Hey Kid, is a musical reminder that there are more of us than them — but we need to rise up and make some righteous noise.

The EP, due out June 21 and currently available for digital pre-order, was produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ray Ketchem (Guided by Voices, Alex Chilton, Luna) at Magic Door Recording in Montclair, NJ. The Big Takeover is extremely pleased to host the premiere of Hey Kid in full before its official release.

Karyn Kuhl first received national acclaim for her early bands Gut Bank and Sexpod, growing out of the vibrant Hoboken music scene and the legendary club Maxwell’s. (“Gut Bank’s The Dark Ages is one exceptional debut album.” —Robert Palmer, New York Times) With her current group — featuring James Mastro (the Bongos, Ian Hunter, reunited Mott the Hoople) on guitar/keyboards, Larry Heinemann (Springhouse, Blue Man Group) on bass, and Jonpaul Pantozzi on drums — Karyn rocks more commandingly than ever before.

Her rich, expressive vocals blend with the weaving, sonic textures of Kuhl and Mastro’s unique guitar interplay and the locked-in rhythm section of Heinemann and Pantozzi. The songs “Hey Kid” and “It’s Over” reunite Kuhl with her Gut Bank bandmate Alice Genese (Psychic TV) on backing vocals.

Hey Kid follows the band’s debut album Songs for the Dead (2013) and the EP The Stars Will Bring You Home (2016). More than in her previous work, the new songs were inspired by current events. Kuhl explains, “I wrote “Hey Kid” and the other three songs on the EP after the last presidential election. Around that time, I found an old college ID card from the ’80s and couldn’t believe the strong and innocent energy beaming from my face! I had been feeling beaten down after the election. Seeing that photo, marching with the young and old against the current administration, inspired this song as a call to bring together youthful exuberance and resilience with the depth of maturity and experience. The music and lyrics poured out!”

The EP also includes the stripped-down, swampy “Strong Woman Blues,” about overcoming inner and outer obstacles to owning your power. (The song was recorded by Tom Beaujour, who has worked with Juliana Hatfield, Nada Surf, etc., at NJ’s Nuthouse studio.)

On “The Wheels,” psychedelic jazz explodes into noise punk, taking a ride through the gentrification and homogenization of our cities, bodies, and minds.

But the EP’s centerpiece is the scorcher “It’s Over.” Kuhl calls out the President, the patriarchy, and the bigots and haters, explaining that their time is done. “The end is near and it’s what you fear,” she taunts them in the lyrics. “The future is female, black, and queer!” It’s a rocking rallying anthem for the resistance.

Pre-order Hey Kid at Karyn Kuhl’s Bandcamp (with immediate download of “It’s Over”). On June 21 Hey Kid will be released on all streaming platforms.