When it comes to music, Cleveland, Ohio is most associated with being the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It does, however, a pretty cool music history, being the hometown of artists like Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Cloud Nothings, and The Lighthouse and The Whaler. A band readying themselves to stand alongside these great acts is Captain Kidd.
Comprised of five friends who formed Captain Kidd while attending Ohio State University, the quintet is getting set to release their second EP, Good Life, which represents a big leap forward. While the young five-piece still reflect on love, heartbreak, and the one who got away, Nathan Baumgard, Eric Blaha, Andrew Gutierrez, Stew Weinland, and Nick Samson have used the 18 months between albums to fine tune their sound and improve their songwriting. The lyrics tell fuller stories while musically the band is influenced by the ’80s to add more emotion and power to their music. Unlike Captain Kidd the EP, Good Life is less of a dance album and more of a thoughtful and stunning album – from the cool and vibrant “Dreamachine”; the Work Drugs-esque title track; the surprisingly, slow-building electro-pop of “Summer Dress”; and the anthemic, dance-infused “Smoke & Mirrors”.
As a result of these improvements, they should – and already have – garnered more attention by both bloggers and music fans. Determine for yourself if these changes are for the better by listening to an exclusive stream of Good Life below. In addition, Eric Blaha has shared some remarks for each of the album’s four songs to provide some perspective on how each song developed.
Captain Kidd’s Good Life – commentary by Eric Blaha
“Dreamachine”: While it’s the first song on the EP, Dreamachine was actually the last song that we recorded. The song came together very fast, which is unusual for us as most of our songs have to gestate for a while before we finish them. We ended up spending a weekend in this random, spooky cabin in the woods and the ending of “Dreamachine” definitely is representative of that experience.
“Good Life”: About halfway through recording the EP, we purchased a Juno 60 synthesizer, which is a total relic from the ‘80s. We used it sparingly at first, but by now its developed into one of our main writing instruments. “Good Life” was the first song we recorded that was completely dependent on the Juno, and it really gives the song a spacey, retro sound.
“Summer Dress”: Lyrically, Summer Dress deals with our close friends and their escapism of problems. The lyrics deal with real situations that happened, like our close friend driving over 90 mph on the highway. The song is probably the most “different”- sounding track we’ve recorded, as we really tried to get out there with the production and even include more electronic influences.
“Smoke & Mirrors”: This song has been a part of our live set for a while, so we figured it was only fair for our fans that we finally give them a studio version. The song was definitely the most difficult to record, as it has this really odd balance between electronic drum samples and live dance beats. The most dancey track on the EP!
Cover photo by Grant C. Jones
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