Kyle Dion: Unique and Authentic is Making His Way Up
To say that Kyle Dion is a character would be an enormous understatement. Though my knowledge of his existence is brief, I have noticed that he is, a la fois, an introverted as well as an extroverted sort of virtuoso, that takes his sonic and visual creations very seriously. Everything that he does seems to stand out but it doesn't overwhelm or make me feel that he is trying too hard. The entire thing tends to breed a consistently organic feeling. It's just who he is, and he has found a way to effectively set his individuality apart from the masses, while blending it with his, mostly alto delivery and his funk-driven sound. In listening to a plethora of current artists, the thought that regularly runs through my mind is that they are making music that fits the current moment in order to guarantee a spot in the present musical landscape. With that being said, I don't believe that this method will garner them very much replay value when it is all said and done. This, however, is not something that I pile onto Kyle's music. It rings a bell but is unique, in it's own right.
Amid all of the sameness, the funk that emerges from your speakers upon hearing an effort from the California-based crooner almost provides a calming effect after having to digest regurgitated sounds. The growth was evident as I bounced from his first full-length album, Sixes & Sevens, to Painting Sounds, all the way to the three singles that have recently been released to promote his newest release, SUGA. I first stumbled on Kyle's music when I came across "Cool Side Of The Pillow". I was going through a tough breakup and heard the song and it immediately resonated with me because it was pretty much what was happening. It had been playing through the speaker and I decided to really listen and was instantly gripped by how honest it was. That particular circumstance was mentally and emotionally exhausting for me, and he found a way to harmonize the "in-between”, of that sort of confusing situation. In that moment of realization, Kyle Dion had earned my respect, and I decided that I would root for him. Over the years, the gradual immersion into groovy, somewhat psychedelic, funk has birthed a modern incarnation of an immensely talented artist with Prince-like qualities. The falsetto is an easy link, as well as the gravitation toward live instrumentation, but Kyle Dion is his own person, and I would like that to shine through even while telling you who he immediately reminds me of. I don't come across very many artist that seem to be as authentically "out there" as he is. None of what I see him doing, or wearing, seems like he's trying to put on for an audience. I think that is what has endeared me to him, and it works so well with the music that he makes. SUGA is upon us and the singer's evolution will be front an center for us to experience. Press play below and find out for yourself.
Stephan George is a Montreal based writer.