Born in Vancouver, Kyle Richardson grew up in Vernon, British Columbia, where he took an initial liking to the sweet sounds of Stevie Wonder and later found himself drawn to the emotion-heavy pop songwriting of John Mayer, Colbie Caillat, and John Legend. While taking his first steps as a songwriter in high school, he excelled as a vocalist in several local talent contests, including FuntasticsBattle of the Bands and was the second runner-up in Okanagan Star Search. As a young adult, Kyle returned to Vancouver in 2011 todevelop his sound further and follow his career ambitions. He soon found a mentor in Grammy-nominated writer-producer Jeff Dawson (Daniel Powter, State of Shock, Kelly Rowland), who has been a trusted collaborator ever since.
Today we’re ecstatic to be teaming up with Kyle for a behind the scenes look at his debut album “Louder Than Words” which was released on October 13th. Keep on reading to go behind the album!
“Louder Than Words” is an album long in the making. I’ve been so lucky to work with wonderful producer Jeff Dawson on this eleven-track album here in Vancouver, BC, and I feel like this collection really encapsulates who I am as a vocalist and songwriter.
Growing up, I had such a diverse range of musical influences, from soulful artists like Stevie Wonder to modern singer/songwriters like John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and more. I really wanted to pull from some classic/retro influences as well as more modern pop sounds and create an album that feels timeless and current all at the same time. I wanted the music I put out to be very positive, uplifting, and motivating, so I focused on themes of love, friendship, fighting adversity, and holding onto hope… themes I think can stand the test of time. This is also why I chose “Louder Than Words” as the title track because I truly do think love is the most important thing we have.
“Can You Hear Me”:
To me, this felt like the perfect opening track to an album and the perfect song to reintroduce myself musically after a bit of a hiatus. It’s an uplifting, soulful pop-rock song about living in the moment and being true to who you are. This anthem really represents how I was feeling coming back from a break, it’s about making memories and living in the moment, which is what I wanted to do with this album. It has a totally modern vibe while still throwing back to some classic sounds (like that stomping beat similar to the drums in Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’).
This is the first song I wrote that ended up making the album. I wrote it many years ago and had a very simple demo that kind of bounced around various laptops and hard drives. Eventually, I rediscovered it and remembered how much I love the melody and the lyrical idea. It’s really all about letting the people you love know how much they mean to you. It’s a simple melody that really soars and lets my vocals fly. The song is tender and emotional, and I feel like it’s a great sentiment that everyone should relate to.
While “Anything” was the first song I wrote that ended up on the album, “Perfect Crime” was the first song recorded. I wanted to set off this creative process of finally committing to an album by making a song that was a total homage to the piano ballads of artists I love like John Legend and Sam Smith – with a huge emphasis of focusing on a simple production with a heartfelt lyric and a really dynamic vocal performance. The song I think is really relatable. It’s about being swept away by an unexpected romance and it probably has one of my more nuanced and powerful vocal performances to date.
“Fight The Good Fight”
The final song written for the project was also my first-ever writing session done via Zoom. This was during the pandemic lockdowns, and the song is all about pushing through the hard times and overcoming obstacles. No matter how alone you might feel or how hopeless the situation feels, I wanted to write a song that would encourage people to work together in a positive way to make it through. It also has a really fun, upbeat chorus that pushes me vocally and was such a fun song to record! I definitely felt this was the most powerful of the pop-rock sounding songs on the album, and it really helped bring a little edge to the project overall.
This song marks a bit of a change of pace for the album, beginning with a melancholy opening chorus and verse, before transitioning into a really light, upbeat, and breezy escape of a song. The lyrical content is about throwing away life’s pressures and expectations in an effort to live in the moment and have a carefree night of fun with a special someone. It’s a reminder to not take life so seriously. I feel like this song is a fun, easy listen.
“Everything About You”
Another really fun song to sing! This song has a great mix of influences. The instrumental has a bit of a bouncy throwback sound, while still sounding current, and the vocal really pulls influence from artists like Adam Lambert or The Scissor Sisters with its over-the-top falsetto melody and big stacks of harmonies. The song is about losing yourself in an intoxicating lover who makes you feel amazing when you’re with them, but then leaves you high and dry and feeling like you have nothing left to give. I think everyone’s experienced being with someone who is emotionally manipulating them. This song is a testament to that feeling.
“Louder Than Words”
I chose this song to be the album’s title track because I love the message of love being the most important feeling in our lives. The song is filled with romance, longing, and the heartache of being away from someone you love. I love the sparse piano ballad production of this song and the big ‘na na na’ backing vocals really add a nostalgic flourish. I really wanted this song to be simple and soulful, filled with really vivid lyrical imagery detailing that feeling of being in flux with a lover who can’t always be around but who means the world to you.
This song is maybe the most throwback on the whole album. Giving a nod to old soulful favorites of mine with that organ opening, the song is about taking a bittersweet look back on the early moments of a relationship, with nostalgic lyrics about going back in time to the time and place where you met a special someone. I love the vocal melody and how retro the song feels, and I think it’s an important idea lyrically that even throughout life’s changes, you can look back fondly on memories you share with people.
“Sooner Or Later”
This song was so fun to write, it’s a little bit on the sassy side with its lyrics ‘sooner or later, you’re gonna miss me’, and it’s all about intimate moments with a special someone and how much you long for the moments when you’re with them. It’s a fun, breezy retro soul song, with a melodic falsetto hook after the insistent chorus emphasizing the inevitability of being back together with that special person again, while the verses describe the romantic feeling of being together. I love the production on this song and how timeless it feels.
“Nice To Meet You”
This is an incredibly upbeat, positive song about sunny skies, loving life, spreading positivity, and making friends everywhere you go. This song almost leans into a theatrical and campy vibe, with a big sing-a-long chorus that exudes positive vibes. With so much negativity in the world, I really wanted to make a song that was full on peppy, and all about meeting people and making new friends and connections.
“Keep The Faith”
Another song I wrote several years ago, I feel like this is the emotional lynchpin of the album. It’s a vocal showcase and the song is all about holding onto hope, and keeping the faith when you aren’t sure where life is taking you. The verses are emotional, broken down, while the chorus aims to uplift and inspire. There’s a huge key change and the end, and we basically made a choir style stack of backing vocals that I could sing some big ad libs over. I really wanted the final song on the album to be dramatic and uplifting and really vocally-driven, and I feel like this song is the perfect fit for those qualities.
Thank you, Live in Limbo, for the chance to take everyone behind my debut album!