Ben Kyle’s vocals strike a haunting nerve on the opening “Queen of Hearts”. Romantica’s release, America, is a masterfully constructed piece of folk and country. Kyle’s harmonica leads off “I Need You Tonight,” and not far behind him is the rambling sound of Luke Jacobs bass. Angelic background vocals help lift the breezy, atmospheric track along with Jessy Greene’s heavenly violin. The ramble of “The National Side” helps with the overall landscape. The brushed snare drum and mariachi horns create a brisk punch to the story of the Kyle family’s relocation to the
Fans of Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam will love Kyle’s delivery and sound. Yet the similarities’ do not stop with his voice. “Drink the Night Away” sounds eerily similar to the instrumentation and vibe of Iron and Wine’s The Shepherd’s Dog (which is an unjust comparison, given that Romantica’s album came out first). Not only does Romantica lure you in with its’ warm, inviting sound lyrics like “What was Jesus thinking, when he let you sink in, To the arms of the Lord” invite the mind to drift away to another place.
“Ixcatan” finds Kyle sounding more like a mix between Mark Knopfler and Daniel Lanois, thanks to the pedal steel of Eric Heywood. From beginning to end, this one is full of goodness, and reflects on life, love and death, all of which are great topics for any album, especially one called
America is out now on 2024 Records.