Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: KEVIN GARRETT

Ahead of the release of “Keep Sleeping”, the artist talks his musical process and what he hopes the future holds.

Kevin Garrett
Kevin Garrett

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.

Kevin Garrett yellow top
Kevin Garrett B&W
Kevin Garrett yellow top
Kevin Garrett B&W

Looking back at it, what song means the most to you and why?
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.

What do you want people to take away from your music?
These songs aren’t about anybody for the most part. The subject matter is a little more top-down. I’ve been asking everyone to lean into it with me. My goal with the EP is to show the listeners more of my sense of humor and where else I can hang creatively in the space. And obviously, I want people to like the songs.

Who inspires you?
I’m always trying to keep learning and keep moving. The people in my life who inspire me are the ones who I keep close to me. And strangely, the ones I keep the farthest away inspire me too. There’s no middle ground really. If you’ve hurt me or if I’ve hurt you, or if you kick my ass creatively, you’re on the list. I’m grateful for my palette of influence and experience.

What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
I’m hopefully on the road a lot next year. Luckily I’ve played a few shows in 2021, so it was nice to get on a stage for the first time since before the world changed, but I’m eager to get back out and play. I never got to tour the last EP, so there’s so much music to play that I haven’t gotten to explore in a live setting yet. And beyond that, I have so much music ready to go after this. I’m just excited to keep moving.

NEW NOISE: KEVIN GARRETT

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