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Youngblood EP by Kyle Ekstrom (Self-released)

Youngblood EP by Kyle Ekstrom (Self-released)

Kyle Ekstrom is a singer/songwriter from Chicago ready to set the imagination in flight and crash into the big leagues. Best known as the former lead vocalist of the post hardcore collective To Trust A Liar, Ekstrom kicks off the New Year in an epic way with the unveiling of his debut solo effort. The Youngblood EP is an absolutely rapturous collection of songs, featuring Kyle’s vibrantly serenely cathartic vocals, superbly infectious melodies, and an impressive cast of guest appearances all sending the recording into the stratosphere.

The Youngblood EP experience opens with Out Of The Dark, an instrumental proclamation that establishes the pensive mood and sweeping reveries to follow. R.I.P. 2 My Youth is profoundly moving and gorgeously artistic, featuring trip hop beats and sweetly expressive vocals to convey the funeral of days gone by while cautiously looking towards the future. This track also features an appearance by the one and only Jonny Craig, lending his own magic and intrigue to the proceedings. The heavy duty dance inflections of Clearest Blue are up next, a persuasive song about meeting halfway in a troubling relationship. Included within the songs is a ferocious guest performance by Mike Champa, formerly of For All Those Sleeping.

Keep my name out of your mouth. don’t you have anything better to talk about?” is the question of the moment in the hypnotic yet thoroughly reflective No Heart, showing Kyle Ekstrom at his most candid and insighful. And then closing out the Youngblood EP way too soon is the dazzling title track, acoustic and radiant, featuring another massively emotional vocal by Kyle Ekstrom and an equally impressive guest appearance by Garrett Rapp of The Color Morale. An absolutely stunning closure that will linger on in your mind long after the disc spins to its conclusion.

Youngblood EP by Kyle Ekstrom presents the very heart and soul of an artist and it’s a wondrous journey that many a music aficionado will want to revisit time and again.  With a little help from his friends, Kyle Ekstrom has just issued a captivating debut that will resonate with all who venture out to give a good listen.  A breathtaking commencement to be sure, it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for this massively talented solo artist. Stay tuned…

(Review by Ken Morton)

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