Phoenix, Arizona-based artist The Kaleidoscope Kid drops his debut self-titled album via Suburban Noize Records.
Talking about the album, Kaleidoscope says, “Writing music for me is medicine, through my own growth, self-acceptance, and healing. I can learn to be there better for myself and others and show up fully to life. There is a magic to any creation but for me writing music has been a way to alchemize even the most difficult moments of my life and turn them into something beautiful.”
Circa five years ago, Kaleidoscope was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that left him unable to leave a hospital bed and near death. He found renewed life through music, an escape from pain, by teaching himself to play guitar and write songs. Losing faith in traditional Western medicine and baffling doctors who gave countless misdiagnoses, The Kaleidoscope Kid turned to Eastern medicine and psychedelics.
Kaleidoscope walked out of the hospital, sold his worldly possessions, and moved to Sedona with his guitar and dog, Blue. He lived off the grid in a remote cabin for years and wrote music while he focused on healing with reishi mushrooms, organic berries, and Sedona spring water. His holistic approach to recovery worked and he eventually started to experiment with hallucinogenic mushrooms sometimes tripping for weeks at a time. Through this process, he found his calling and decided to dedicate his life to music. He returned to Phoenix and lived in a recording studio where he recorded the first demos that eventually got him signed to indie powerhouse label Suburban Noize Records.
According to Kaleidoscope, “These are the adventures of myself and my dog Blue, who was my best friend during those times of living in Sedona, wandering into the forest with no destination in mind. Anytime I would play my guitar blue would lay at my feet to listen. As long as Blue liked the songs, I was happy.”
Encompassing nine tracks, entry points on the album include the bluesy hip-hop flavors of “Hold Up,” riding a measured rhythm of crunching percussion and a fat, rolling bassline. Kaleidoscope’s drawling, sleazy flow imbues the lyrics with subtle dynamism.
“Watermelon Kisses” blend a funky rhythm with folk-rock guitars. Kaleidoscope explains, “The song ‘Watermelon Kisses’ was inspired by the beauty of a new relationship. The concept is based around what it feels like to first fall in love with someone. At the time in my life when the song was written, I had just recovered from a broken heart, and I wasn’t sure if I would ever experience that connection again. Shortly after I met a beautiful woman who inspired the song and reminded me that everything happens for a reason.”
Dirty and raw, “Cause and Effect” rolls out on punk-lite savors with hints of country hip-hop. Whereas “Hell or High Water” merges thick blues with a rococo hip-hop rhythm as Kaleidoscope’s slick, blues-inflected timbres give the lyrics a twangy, rap-lite flow.
Dripping with tasty flavors of treacly blues, The Kaleidoscope Kid is at once innovative and singular, unlike anything else extant.