Review from the Archive: KaiL Baxley – Heatstroke/ The Wind and the War

Difficult to initially categorise, KaiL Baxley’s double EP can only be described as a range of charming, laid-back and fresh acoustic tunes. His unique voice sends a haunting chill that spreads throughout the tracks to become strangely anthemic.
The opening song, ‘Don’t Matter to Me’, is a rhythmic, bluesy introduction that sets the bar for the rest of the EP – which most definitely gets more enchanting as you travel through the story of the tracks.
The highlight is undoubtedly Say Goodbye to the Night, a lilting lullaby that depicts the hauntingly beautiful prowess of Baxley’s voice. The slow paced and somewhat hopeful tale of ‘dancing by the firelight’ paints the imagery of a wholehearted attempt at love and adventure. His fervent lyrics becoming more desperate as the track progresses into an echoing chorus, the song is seemingly a peaceful reminisce into memories far faded.
Moving into the soothing ‘Legend of the Western Hills’, Baxley produces an emotive and swaying acoustic tale that will leave you begging to hear it live.
Interspersed with beautiful instrumentals, the range of the EP does not merely separate it into a specific genre, instead it is obvious how much care and consideration has been put into the placement of every song to create an inimitable array of memory evoking tunes.
This is certainly seen in ‘Black River Son, with the echoing lyrics that won’t leave you easily; it is an escape from the acoustic songs that are drown in repetitive notions of lost loves and instead is an homage to a beautiful landscape and passionate memories.
Baxley’s voice has a peaceful wisdom with a strong driving force, certainly not out of place on a Sons of Anarchy soundtrack – do not miss KaiL Baxley.

Rachel McKinnie
4/5

For Fans of: Joshua James, Audra Mae

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