If Airdrie music lovers are looking for an immensely talented local act, they should look no further than local product Kyle McKearney.
On Sept. 3, he released his newest single titled Sweet Summer Rain. The track is a traditional country love song written by McKearney and Russell Broom that will surely connect with listeners across the board with its authenticity and originality.
The man himself has gone through a creative renaissance, finding his groove musically through a blend of traditional country and Americana. He is a breath of fresh air when it comes to his respective genres because his music hits home and feels like something from a time long gone, when it was really about creating something different and true to himself.
A touching acoustic riff brings the song in, something that attaches to the listener immediately, and drags them in.
“I was playing the bar rooms, your friends dragged you out to see the show,” he sings in the opening verse. “I saw my whole world for the first time when I saw you, it took me all night to say hello.”
When I listen to McKearney, I immediately think of the country music I grew up on. His vocal and musical styling reminds me of modern-day outlaw country with a twist. Maybe it’s because of his covers like the late George Jones’ He Stopped Loving Her Today, or maybe it’s his look, but when I listen to the music, to me, it is the best ode to one of the most important times in music.
When you look at country music today, I don’t think I’m breaking any news when I say a lot of the soul of what made it such an approachable and relatable genre are long gone. When I listen to songs like McKearney’s newest single, he does an incredible job of painting this incredible love story that ends in tragedy.
“We got married in the summer, you shone brighter than the desert sun,” he sings. “But then it poured down as if the whole world had prayed for water, did the heavens open up for you to come?”
Being able to show the vulnerability of a broken love is not something many artists do correctly. But when an artist does it, it makes way for a listener to have something to leave on repeat.
The bridge and chorus bring home what made me fall in love with this kind of music in the first place: Heartbreak, tragedy, and how one survives when going through trying times.
“I’m still working long hours just trying to get by, and I can’t keep my hands off the bottle. The thunder rolls up and brings tears to the sky, and I can’t keep from hitting the bottom,” he sings.
If I had the word count, I would post the entirety of the lyrics to show readers when you aim to write a song with a story, and with a topic like this, McKearney provides the template.
It’s no wonder he is in the Top 12 of Project WILD’s $100,000 music contest. He just gets it, and he portrays his art in a way that can genuinely touch people. To me, that is the most important part of music.
If you get a second, visit your favourite streaming platform and give this song a listen. I promise you won’t regret it.
You can also watch the music video on YouTube.