Kyle Hollingsworth, keyboardist of The String Cheese Incident, starts the new decade with a fresh batch of songs. Appropriately titled 2020, Hollingsworth’s new EP ranges stylistically from Emerson, Lake & Palmer-influenced progressive organ rock, to West Coast Soul, to album rock, plus exploration of a unique cover. It was released a few weeks ago on SCI Fidelity Records, just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
You can stream or purchase the project on your preferred service, here.
Hollingsworth said that the project was something written in the present, with several good ideas having to be left behind as it moved forward.
“This album is a snapshot of where I am right now,” he told American Songwriter. “It’s about a year or so of writing and compiling. Some songs made the cut, others didn’t. I’m proud of what has been released, but in light of current circumstances. I think it’s important to think in a global mindset. It’s important for everyone to stay creative and positive. I’m hoping this self isolation is bringing out challenges as well as creative growth.”
For fans of the band, and readers of American Songwriter, Hollingworth explained the tracks — in his own words. Give the EP a listen while you get into the headspace of where each song came from.
“This tune started as a melody and chord progression. I wanted to write in a style that I hadn’t tried before so I brought it to the band and we flushed it out. This is just a fun summer song speaking to youth and lost love. You gotta write those songs every once in a while…right?”
We Were The Young:
“I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, I started my first band when I was 12. We used to just jam on the front porch for all the cars driving by, that was our only audience. As I grew up, I joined more and more groups. One of them, Black Friday, was a real influence on me. Not just because of the music, but of how my life was changing going into my teen years. This song speaks to my early “Punk” roots and a band of five teenagers rebelling against the world.”
“I discovered Vampire Weekend a few years back with the album Modern Vampires of the City. I was really blown away by the production and songwriting. I love when albums challenge my ear and my mind. “Step” came to mind as cover idea because of its deep instrumentation and fantastic lyrical imagery. I thought it would be fun to try a different take on this tune.”
Got It Figured Out:
“‘Got It Figured Out’ was a song hat originated a few years back, I wanted to write something in the style of “The Crusaders” meets “Steely Dan.” It features Lyle Divinsky from The Motet. The song was sounding pretty good, but Lyle made it lift higher with his awesome backing vocals!!”
“Well, this was a fun one. Kinda dug in deep with the prog hammond organ era on this one. We named ‘Tufnel’s Retreat’ as a comedic tip of the hat to Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap, mainly because it has so many movements, especially its pseudo-classical moment in the middle. As Nigel says, ‘I’m really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it’s kind of in-between. It’s like a Mach piece, really,’ and of course it goes to 11!!!”