There is only one way to welcome in the upcoming weekend, and that is with a set of serene alt-pop cuts. And, the perfect ones to stick on repeat? They all come courtesy of Kevin Garrett’s new EP, “Keep Sleeping”. Riddled with soulful sensibilities, the Grammy-nominated artist’s newest release is one sure to have listeners in a calming trance as tracks “Something Like” and “Dancing on the Internet” serve up infectious lyricism and warm acoustic instrumentation.
When speaking on his latest project, Kevin claimed, “I think my favourite song is “Something Like”, and that’s because it is a really great bridge over to some other music I’ve had for a while that is likely up next. But every song on the EP represents something different to me. The whole project is riddled with irony. I messed around and made some pop songs which is a fun departure for me and a glimpse into where I can go for my audience.”
Upon the release of the EP, the artist spoke with Wonderland about his pandemic struggles, the creative process behind his newest release and his hopes for the future. Head below to enjoy our interview with Kevin Garrett…
Hey Kevin, how are you? How has this past year been?
I’m doing okay, thanks. This year has honestly been a little frustrating, but I’m happy to be here and happy new music is finally out.
With everything that happened during the pandemic, has your creativity been affected?
It definitely has been affected, but I’m hopeful it’s for the best as I’ve been stockpiling songs over the past couple of years now. There’s a whole bunch of music that’s ready to go now, and that’s articulated my creative vision a little farther ahead than normal.
How did you first get into music, what sparked the interest?
I started playing the violin when I was 4, and that got me into pretty much everything that made noise. When I was 12 or 13, I began writing what I thought were songs but I didn’t really have anything to say until I got to New York after high school. I’ve been around music my whole life though and I’ve always been obsessive about the nuances of expression via music.
Where are you originally from? Did your hometown inspire you musically?
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA. My hometown certainly inspired my writing, although I think my experiences are fairly universal to any location. When I moved to New York it definitely changed my perspective, and that influenced my writing. Once I started touring, that changed it even more. I’m always trying to learn.
And you’ve worked as a songwriter for many years, is it different writing music for others in comparison to yourself?
I’ve learned that some artists want my “thing,” which is flattering, so I’ve tried more and more to offer as much of that as I can without giving me away. The best sessions I’ve had with other artists is when I can channel their experiences and help them articulate those experiences. I appreciate those artists who are involved in the writing and creative process. That’s usually the only way it works. You can’t want it more than them.
Talk us through your new EP, what was your mindset approaching the project?
Xander and I made this almost entirely remotely over the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. I drove up to Boston for a day this past summer to ostensibly meet Xander and hang for a little, but we did a majority of the work over FaceTime. While I added to arrangement and structure ideas on the tracks, this was largely a project where I got to focus primarily on the melody and lyrics. I’m typically not as hands-off on the production approach, but I think the circumstances we were all dealing with made this type of creative process all the more appropriate.