MP3 Mark Vaughan Kay - Life In Stone
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10 MP3 Songs in this album (44:43) !
Related styles: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop: Today's Top 40, Solo Male Artist
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In a sea of singer-songwriters, Washington, DC native Mark Vaughan Kay is a shark. While most of his kind spend their time waxing philosophically on springtime in the mountains, first kisses and road trips to hometownâs lost, he separates himself with a wholly unique world perspective, swirling black and white together until they make gray. While it would be remiss to say that Mark Vaughan Kay is without that sort of soul-searching romanticism, itâs all about balance with him, finding that space between the light and dark.
Mark Vaughan Kay is poised to release his debut album, Life In Stone, in February of 2011. âThis album is about finding yourself in the aftermath of one-hundred âWhat Ifâs?â Itâs been a long time in the making and thatâs for good reason,â says Kay. âJust as much as itâs about putting that puzzle together, it needed to be authentic, and the journey was integral to that process.â
Life In Stone is an album written in bathrooms and subways, from the sunny beaches to cold city streets. Equal parts sunny angst and hopeful pessimism, itâs the soundtrack of a man who let love be his guide and the road it took him on. This first independent release is a blend of singer-songwriter musings and anthemic alternative rock crescendos, drawing comparison to texture-driven bands like U2, Radiohead and Coldplay, while maintaining the singer-songwriter sensibilities of artists like Pete Yorn, PJ Harvey and David Gray. His music is atmospheric, sound-trackian in scope and wide-ranging in influences. While his layered, churning guitar style weaves in and out of each track, his greatest strength lies in his vocal prowess. Low murmurs bend and turn into sweeping falsettos, sweeping falsettos twist into full-voiced passionate pleas. His vocal range is impressive, but itâs his connection to what heâs singing about that comes through most clearly. Songs like âLife In Stoneâ and âWhat Never Wasâ showcase the texture of his songwriting style, compiling instrument upon instrument, building to frenzied climaxes. âOmensâ shows his singer-side at his most dynamic, a melody that twists and turns like mountain roads from another planet. Tracks like âThis Timeâ and âForevermoreâ evoke a completely distinct tone within the context of album, bright and shimmering, full of hope and passion. In counterpoint, âA Calmâ is a menacing vamp, like a drive down city streets at night that you donât belong to, âPaperâ an atmospheric foray into spacy sounds swirling around jazz-inspired vocals.
It is of particular note that he is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, keeping the legacy of grassroots, guerilla musicianship alive and well: âI come from a fairly musical family,â he mentions. âMy father plays guitar and my mother is always singing, plus five brothers with their own musical skillsets as well.â At 9 years-old, Kay picked up the violin, eventually transitioning to other stringed orchestral instruments like cello and bass, and eventually piano before stumbling upon his next calling: vocalizing. âIt all started with some homemade acapella recording I did in my parentsâ bathroom as a freshman in high school. I gave this girl that tape and word started to travel that I could really sing. I had no idea what that meant at the time.â Kay added the guitar into his repertoire shortly after that discovery, plucking out tracks by his favorite bands by ear until before he knew it, he was writing his own songs at only 16 years-old. âThe muses found me at an early age. Iâve been theirs ever since.â
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