Brisbane artist Kyle Jenkins is back with the first of two planned solo albums: Love, Lost Love. Released at the end of April, the album is an introspective and philosophical collection of songs that deals with disappointments, disillusionment, longing, and of course, love.
The album’s fifteen tracks have been intentionally left sparse and pared back. Each song utilises only the minimum of instrumentation; weaving an understated patchwork of acoustic guitar, piano, synths. An occasional harmonica is the only ostentatious adornment. The listener’s attention is drawn, then, purposefully to Jenkins’ lyrics. It makes for a striking listen, and one that reveals more on each listen.
To celebrate the album’s release, and to help get to the bottom of the album’s meaning, Jenkins has put together this track by track. So hit play on Love, Lost Love and let Jenkins walk you through the record’s fifteen tracks one at a time.
“Come Back Oklahoma”
This is a song where the narrative is based within a prose system of writing where two subjects are intertwined within a location, and how these three spaces interact with each other are played out in the song. The listener is given a place and two characters, but what is that place and what are those characters? This is a structure that runs throughout the album.
“Gallow Hands” was written about the internal struggle everyone has within themselves of trying to be a good person and how in relationships this goodness is continually superseded by the feeling that ones evilness will rise to the top; treating their loved ones with indifference and hurtfulness. This is where the idea of Gallow – meaning frightening, comes into the song e.g. Gallow Hands = frightening hands as a metaphor for our non-feeling towards others through hurtful actions.
This is a song that is about the narrator and the regret, loss and loneliness of where are they and who are they. In many ways it’s about the urge to constantly burn bridges but wanting to also cross those burnt bridges at the same time, and what does it mean.
This song is all about being heartbroken and that grieving process of feeling lost, wanting the significant other back and then feeling betrayal and wanting payback through guilt and penance.
“You Can’t Take it When You Go”
Basically about looking back in reflection and wanting a do-over of your life or aspects of life. But also seeing and cherishing things in a new light.
This track is about the cycle of making albums, touring, playing shows and the abstract nature of this type if life and the people whose lives you leave behind when undertaking this. There is a distant part of you at home and the rest on the road.
“Rosey Red Day”
“Rosey Red Day” was written from the perspective of someone with depression or feeling depressed or whose thoughts are nagging them to be depressed and/or burdened; and this voice in the back of their head is attempting to convince them that everything will be OK. And everything is OK, except that individual doesn’t know if there is anything to save them.
“Made A Nest”
This is about making a home and what does it mean to make such a home. In all its strength of resilience is a fragility and frailty that is always present. In something that is a place of personal grounding is also a place ready to collapse.
This song is about trying to find an essence to oneself and what it means to be ‘a self’. What does it mean to be a person among people and what does that really mean.
“Love Is All There Is”
This song is literal and is just about love and what it is in all its messed up, foolish, celebratory, bewildering and magical qualities. At its premise is the central aim of taking a chance with someone and risking it all to discover something you could never really believe you could find or hold.
This song is about the idea of attempting to hold onto something that is obviously slipping away yet in its obviousness one is trying to hold on and summon some kind of different strategy to stay present and hang on.
This one has a simple presence of two individuals collectively ‘in it together’ dealing with the world but then individually dealing with the world as well and the interconnectedness between these two ways the world around them is dealt with.
This entire song is about putting oneself out there into the world bravely and to fail. It is summed up with the final two lines: ‘All the loneliness, that comes with rejection, whose darkness will, burn brightly’
“Trust Your Body Knows Well”
This is about arguing with the person you love and trying to reconcile with that person before you go to sleep. Then waking up and in what world do you both exist after this turmoil and where do you reposition oneself in relationship to the person they love.
This is a song that is a retort to “Come Back Oklahoma” where the narrative is based within a singular prose of one individual speaking to another within a particular place. Again, the listener is given a place and two characters, but this time the listener is one of those characters while the narrator is the other and the place is the location of the listener.
Love, Lost Love by Kyle Jenkins is out now. You can keep up to date with Kyle Jenkins via Facebook.