Music Video Premiere: Vonnie Kyle – “The Brink of Breaking Down”

Vonnie Kyle

Photo: David Badstubner

Portland, Oregon-based alt-pop/alt-rock artist Vonnie Kyle unveils the music video, “The Brink of Breaking Down,” a track lifted from her forthcoming album, Imperfect Parts.

Akin to a musical memoir, Imperfect Parts chronicles Kyle’s three-year passage through a series of life choices—sometimes difficult, sometimes thrilling—to come out capable of not only self-love but romantic love.

Kyle explains, “I make it a goal when I write my songs to engage with those who might have similar experiences. This record addresses my past faults and traumas in ways I feel a lot of other people can relate to. It’s about processing the pain, but also learning to heal and accept that I will always be an extremely flawed person who, no matter what, still deserves to be loved.”

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, followed by living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kyle’s music mirrors characteristics of the places she’s lived.

According to Kyle, “When I think of my old life in Minneapolis, I think about riding my single-speed bike to bars to see shows that ranged from rock to hip-hop, to folk-pop to metal.”

She goes on to add, “I think the beauty of New Mexico heavily influenced my lyric writing, but a lot of the music comes from the person who wanted to play noisy pop songs in a noisy city.”

Previous to going solo, she played with the band Skittish, who released their double album, The Perfect Shade of Green, in 2010. Since then, Kyle has dropped three of her own EPs, along with touring abundantly.

“The Brink of Breaking Down” opens on retro ‘80s pop-rock guitars riding a cogent rhythm featuring finessed, crunching percussion. Reminiscent of Pat Benatar, the tune sizzles with sonic oomph, pushing out raw, angular harmonic textures topped by Kyle’s evocative voice backed by radiant “ooh ooh” harmonies.


A gleaming, shimmering breakdown shifts the flow and then ramps up to growling, surging layers of sound capped by Kyle’s scrumptious wailing tones, imbuing the lyrics with urgent fervor.

“‘Cause I’ve got hands, and you’ve got hands / And I can’t pull away / And you can stand / And I can stand / With our clothes in the way / But I can’t stop from slipping up / With your hands on my waist.”

The video, directed by Joshua Rivera, depicts Vonnie Kyle on the verge of hysteria, confirmed by her cutting gracefully into a cake, followed by holding a huge slice of cake in both hands, and then plunging her face into the cake to chow down.

Vonnie Kyle turns it loose on “The Brink of Breaking Down,” rolling out luscious pop-rock with gusto.


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