Multi-Platinum, Two-Time JUNO Award Winning Bassist for The Strumbellas, Darryl James, Releases Sophomore EP Under Solo Indie-Rock Alias, Close Kicks
With his sophomore EP as Close Kicks titled “Colours“, James dives deeper into his creativity than ever before, delivering a project that once again unites all areas of his artistry. Written, performed, recorded, and mixed by James, the artist collaborated with local musicians from his hometown on each of the five tracks, providing them with the framework of how he wanted each song to sound and inviting them to add their own flare to each part. From creating the EP and single covers from photos he took himself to filming video content on his own, “Colours” marks a new chapter for James, where he began to trust his solo artistic instincts more than ever before. Starting the project in 2022 while also embarking on a journey of sobriety, James paused the recording process to begin to care for his mother who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Calling her his biggest supporter who always encouraged him to pursue music, James continued to work on the project throughout her illness, and was able to share the songs she encouraged him to complete with her before her recent and untimely passing.
Close Kicks sophomore EP, “Colours”, features vibrant soundscapes, expressive lyrics, and the powerful result of following your heart. Opening with lead single “Never Going To Give This Up“, a retro Indie-Rock track about standing up for what one believes in, James calls upon his experience as an active member of his community in Lindsay, ON. Drawing inspiration for the song from wanting to make an impactful contribution to society for his children and for future generations, James calls “Never Going To Give This Up” his protest song, sharing “I want to stress that being active within our communities can leave a lasting, positive impact for generations to come”. With an engaging melody and unforgettable chorus, the Indie-Rock track features a prominent, striking electric guitar and driving drumbeat.
“Somewhere Lost” and “You’ll Find Me” both focus on mental struggles and the processing of complex emotions. Marking a notable departure from his musical comfort zone, “Somewhere Lost” is a slow-tempo, vulnerable, and melancholy piano ballad with comforting harmonies and James’ distinctly longing, echo-filled vocal performance. Released as the first single off of the project, the song has been prominently featured on numerous playlists across Amazon and Apple Music. “Colours” also features Folk-tinged “Long Way From Home”, a lonely yet hopeful mid-tempo track, featuring delightfully intricate instrumentation creatively juxtaposed against sorrow-filled lyrics, along with “Running Wild“, an Alternative-Rock track about the realization of a need to change.
Refreshingly honest and bursting with radiant sound, “Colours” definitively marks what creativity can look like when an artist chooses to trust their creative instincts. As a student of his craft, Darryl James ventures into multiple areas of new territory with Close Kicks second ever release, becoming the sole song creator, storyteller, and artistic director of a project all his own. Showcasing an exciting realm of creative possibilities for the artist, the release of “Colours” also celebrates over seven months of sobriety for James, and is what he attributes to helping complete the project during one of the most challenging times of his life. Brimming with artistic dexterity, vivid musical textures, and unbound vulnerability, “Colours” delivers a thrilling world of creativity from a musician who is finally learning to embrace what can happen when he trusts himself. Most importantly, his mom will always be his biggest fan.
Darryl will be on tour with The Strumbellas this summer. You can find their Canadian tour dates at the link below.