New Music | Kenneth Aaron Harris

[W]hen the Films (the coolest band of all-time, for the uninitiated) broke up, Mike was already back in Charleston with his soulmate, Cary Ann Hearst, working on what would become Shovels & Rope (not to mention a couple solo records). Jake took up residence at Butch Walker’s studio in LA (and released an EP as the Sinclair Bros). Adam ended up at a sweet design gig nestled in their native Rocky Mountains. But Kenny stuck it out in Brooklyn, writing for a publisher, & I’m not sure a whole lot of folks really heard much from him. Mike told me probably three years ago, “Yeah, Kenny’s working on this batch of songs that’s going to blow everyone’s minds.” And I had almost given up hope, but I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right.

The thing that made the Films so great is that they could groove so hard but it was almost as if they weren’t trying at all. They had this uncanny ability to be locked in & tuned out all at once, & so you don’t even realize that you’re being bombarded with pop hooks. It was the catchiest music you could possibly listen to without feeling like a total sucker. And Kenny’s new record captures that essence better than any post-Films release. In Viva Las Vegas, a pretty heavy nod to Memphis’ own King of Rock & Roll (“The Ghost of Graceland, who better than to take us?”), Kenny pulls out all of the stops. The casual finger snaps, the sedated vocal takes, dropping the tambourine on the floor in the outro, that arpeggio on the piano that sounds like an accident if it didn’t keep happening… it’s like every part of the song just fell from the sky & landed in the right place. “Kenny, it’s like you’re not even trying.” But then you think he MUST be in order to write this kind of dirty pop magic.

Kenny’s Brooklyn was self-released today. You can get it on iTunes.