Some people move to New York and instantly feel more at home. Others move to New York and soon discover that they prefer the city as a vacation from a different kind of home. The Rescues’ Kyler England is of the second variety.
A North Carolina native, England moved to Brooklyn’s Park Slope for a few years before moving to the west coast to settle down in Los Angeles. Though she admittedly loves New York and very quickly felt deserving of the term “New Yorker,” England seems to have a strong sense that for her, New York is better in doses.
“New York City is like an ex-boyfriend,” she starts. “You know it really well, know all its nooks and crannies, but it doesn’t welcome you back. The face of it changes so fast.”
England’s own face, musically speaking, has undergone some changes as well. In addition to her work with The Rescues, England is moving some focus toward her solo career, slashing across genres as she pleases. Initially a self-proclaimed “organic-based singer/songwriter,” England explored new territory during The Rescues’ recent downtime, collaborating with European DJs and producer Bill Lefler to create her own blend of electronica and singer/songwriter-style pop.
“I find in singing and writing, if I do lots of different things, I’m just more creative all around,” says England. “We all kind of get around creatively. We are definitely musical whores.”
Interestingly enough, though England has released an electronica album, Electric Hum, and is featured on numerous tracks with the likes of UK DJs First State, Cosmic Gate and DJ Shaw among others, she has in fact never met any of these colleagues.
“They sent me tracks. I would listen, write lyrics and a melody, record my voice part and send it back,” she explains. “They finished the song and published it.”
Though England has not had the opportunity to meet her collaborators or perform this new genre in a live setting, she is clear in her expression that this is a definite interest.
“I was inspired by how my voice took on a different color in that world,” England admits. “It’s such a modern world, and I’m hoping soon to get into the live performance of that world.” Aside from a show in Lebanon last year that fell through, England has not scheduled shows overseas, but she is “definitely hoping to get some international dates.”
England’s style in music has developed over a number of years, but in some respect, music has always been a focal point for her.
“My family is very musical. My dad played The Beatles on guitar, and my mom was always playing Joni Mitchell,” England remembers. “I grew up with an ear for harmony. Music has always been a huge part of my life.” England has been singing since she can remember and studied classical piano for three years. During her high school years, in need of a distraction from her Calculus homework, she picked up the guitar and has been writing since, though she claims her work has not always been worthy.
“I’m really grateful that when I was writing my first songs, it was before YouTube and GarageBand,” England admits, “because there is no record of that.”
Originally inspired by the Indigo Girls, England’s writing has matured over the years and evolved into a powerful tool both for expressing herself and connecting to herself.
“I feel like music has saved my life a few times,” she starts. “It’s a way, not even just to express myself, but, for me, in writing songs I get closer to knowing myself, and it opens up a different way to know who I am.”
In short, while her writing allows her a certain cathartic quality, England also finds valuable lessons about herself in many of her compositions. In her song, Battle Cry, which appears on Electric Hum, England describes the struggle she is experiencing with friendships, and in writing the lyrics, “where there is shadow, there is light,” she conveys a self-revelation about the emotions involved in disagreements.
“Even in the darkest moments there is some light,” England explains, “and the reason why you’re fighting with someone and you’re hurting is because you love them. There’s that little bit of love that makes you wanna fight for it, even if you’re upset.” Thus the lyric, “love is in the battle cry.”
Though England is laying low in her solo career due to The Rescues’ return to action, there is no shortage of desire to perform her own music live. Fingers crossed she stops by New York, with or without her band in tow!
Originally published July 24, 2012 on NewYorkSocialStatus.com