This month, Texas’ very own pop-punkers Artist Vs Poet released Keep Your Secrets, their first full-length album since dropping their label with Fearless Records. Joe Kirkland (vocals), Jason Dean (bass, drums) and Dylan Stevens (guitar, backing vocals) pack a finely tuned album with 8 songs that never skip a beat: but you really have to be in the mood to listen to it. Keep Your Secrets is not going to be the first album that comes to mind when someone tunes out the world and plugs in their headphones.
“Ready to Roll” reminds us all of what being a careless and reckless teenager is all about—making out to the west coast and selling your soul to rock and roll. Kirkland’s sultry vocals address this mild form of rebellion in a fond and lighthearted manner.
The album consistently switches from slower, strummy songs to upbeat, pop ballads. And sometimes, songs like “Love to Hate Me” are a happy medium of both. By far, this song contains the funniest lyrics: “I’m sorry I thought you were DTF/ but GTFO now/ like right now ‘cause I ain’t dealing with this shit tonight/ ‘cause I got better ways to waste my time,” Kirkland sings.
“Ready or Not” is a tragically beautiful acoustic apology about a damaged relationship. Kirkland begs this girl to forgive him and give him a second chance, insisting that he will always be there for her if she stays. This song almost seems like it’s just a man and his guitar—the drums keep the tempo in the background, but the rest of the band gets tuned out. I envision teenage girls playing this while crying into their pillows after a fight with their FWB (friend with benefits in Artist Vs. Poet speak).
The Weekly Tour Round-Up
Hot Water Music
Albums That Get Me Through
Artist Vs Poet on The Rocket Summer
You Blew It!
The Industry With Jesse Cannon
The Acoustic Basement Tour [Ends on January 23rd]
100 Words Or Less: Jay Weinberg
AltarTV AP Tour Footage
Mondays mean BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the PropertyOfZack feature today with Joe Kirkland of Artist Vs Poet. The band just released a new LP called Keep Your Secrets, and it can be downloaded here.
In this week’s feature, Joe dives into one of his favorite bands, The Rocket Summer. Joe takes the time to write about the never-ending influence The Rocket Summer’s Calendar Days had on him and how he still thinks its influence can be heard in each of Artist’s releases. Listen to songs by The Rocket Summer here and check out what Joe had to say about one of his biggest influences below!
From Joe Kirkland of Artist Vs Poet:
One of the most influential bands in my music career would have to be The Rocket Summer. When I was 17, a friend of mine cleaned Bryce’s pool every week, and was given a copy of “Calendar Days,” and I had no idea who the band was. I just popped it in to give it a try, and I was instantly hooked. I did more research on the band, and realized it was only one person playing every instrument, and I was sold.
From that point on, my music was drastically influenced by his style, and I would play every instrument in my project at the time, The Follow Through. Catchy, upbeat songs, piano and guitar driven, and TONS of harmonies flooded my songs, because that’s what I loved, and that’s the way I wanted it. I appreciated the positive vibes the music gave me, and I was at every show in Texas. At one point, I was even considered to tour as a live musician with TRS, but things didn’t work out. It’s definitely for the best, because you wouldn’t have Artist Vs Poet today, but it would have been fun! Eventually I joined Artist Vs Poet, and we got the opportunity to tour with Bryce and his crew. I had grown out of my fanboy ways, but it was still surreal touring with my favorite band. “Do You Feel” was such a well rounded, well produced record, by far his most popular, but I still appreciated how original the first two records were.