By the time you reach the end of Kyle Craft‘s third album, and first with his new backing band (for whom the album is named), you find yourself wondering whether Marc Bolan really DID perish that fateful day in 1977. In fact, its closing number, ‘She’s Lily Riptide‘, has the stamp of the erstwhile Mr Feld all over it, from the playful low key vocal right down to that huge, stomping glam rock chorus. Craft, however, does not hang all his garments from the same washing line, and while Showboat Honey is certainly steeped in the mould of the classic singer songwriters of the 1970s, there is little doubt that the Louisiana born musician is very much a blazer of his own trails.
Mostly charged with the electricity of a Stones-ish rock and roll, Showboat Honey does briefly give some respite in the beautiful 3 song centrepiece of ‘Bed Of Needles #2‘, which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Primal Scream‘s 1991 classic Screamadelica, the druggy comedown of ‘Deathwish Blue‘ (with its lyrics undoubtedly channelling Born To Run era Springsteen: “We’re suckers in a vampire town with deadbeat eyes and not enough blood to go round“) and the far too short ‘Blood In The Water‘. Elsewhere, in terms of references, you can take your pick between Bowie, Mott The Hoople and, interestingly, Elton John at his flamboyant best. There might just be a little bit of Television influence creeping in there somewhere too.
Kyle had this to say about his latest record: “This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time. Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.”
With his last two albums, Kyle Craft had already marked himself out as one to watch. On this scintillating form, we have hard, fast evidence that he is more than ready to move up into the big time.
Showboat Honey is released on 12th July through Sub Pop.