Saturday, March 2, 2024

Vonnie Kyle


8 pm

$13 in advance, $13 at the doors
Limited seating; advanced tickets do not guarantee seats. Standing room available.

21 and over

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Vonnie Kyle

Vonnie Kyle

"Where the hell did Vonnie Kyle come from?"

That's the question the residents of Portland were asking as they all emerged from their quarantines after the long, disquieting era of the pandemic. As venues reopened and the music scene began to rebuild itself in 2021, a new voice was being heard amongst the members of a longtime familial community. With this voice came a bold and distinguished sound that had been brewing in a decrepit-garage-turned-studio for a couple of years.

No, Vonnie Kyle didn't just appear out of thin air, as it had seemed to those in her new milieu. Over the years, the lyrically confessional, alternative pop-rock artist had quietly released a few EPs and demos. Her following mostly resided in her two previous home bases - Minneapolis, MN and Santa Fe, NM. Prior to the pandemic, Kyle spent much of her time on the road as a touring solo artist, selling burned CDs out of a suitcase. In March 2020, as the pandemic arrived and she prepared to relocate to Portland, the decision to shift her focus from constant touring was made for her; it was time to make a new record.

Imperfect Parts was an apt title for the songwriter's first full-length album. The process from which it was constructed was anything but perfect. Notes were exchanged between Kyle and her production team from different sides of the country. Parts were tracked remotely. Schedules were clumsily coordinated. What was originally meant to be a month-long process became that of nearly two years. All of that work paid off over the course of several months as Kyle began to release singles and music videos leading up to the record's release. 

Her debut single, The Brink of Breaking Down, was an explosive rollout of her musical artistry. Forcible vocals and layered guitars reminiscent of My Chemical Romance, with a discernible nod to 90s rock established Kyle as not just a skilled singer-songwriter, but a commanding rock performer with undeniable staying power. She had arrived and she had peoples' attention.

This was followed by the album's title track, Imperfect Parts. While slightly more subdued than The Brink of Breaking Down, the pop-rock track has an anthemic energy, with a chorus supported by ubiquitous and infectious call-and-response background vocals. Confessional lyrics describing the acceptance of flaws (ahem, imperfections) about oneself and their loved ones made this track intensely relatable to the many listeners who were discovering the new artist. The accompanying music video depicts Kyle wandering between various places with an old suitcase (the very suitcase she had previously sold DIY CDs out of during her pre-pandemic travels), leaving small tokens and trinkets everywhere she goes. The video not only represents pieces of her past, but the ever-evolving path she continues to follow as a human being with a growing self-awareness.

The entire much-anticipated record was released in April 2022, to a rousing reception from Portland radio and online critics. Guitar Girl Magazine stated Kyle's sound "blends alt-pop, alt-rock, and folk-rock with her expressive voice, producing luscious sonic concoctions." The ten-song record well-exceeded the expectations of those previously familiar with her work, with some tracks daring to dip their toes into surprising genres. The country-pop slow-burn, "Better Than Me," was written about the divorce she went through just before Covid, and gave listeners insight into her own personal struggles.  The closing track, "Cereal Bowl," is an unexpected piano ballad that conveys the trauma of a sexual assault that occurred in 2014. Balanced out by a plethora of high-energy pop-rock tunes, Imperfect Parts leaves listeners with the satisfaction of having been in the passenger seat of a truly special and scenic ride.

Vonnie Kyle's "imperfect" era may be coming to a close, but the singer has big plans for the future, including the release of a new single and video in August of this year. The forthcoming tune, "Is It," encapsulates the ache of those with seemingly inseverable ties to addicts, and the slow but steady toll those ties begin to take over time. While her love for guitar-based rock remains obviously intact on this track, Kyle is clearly venturing into new territory, with her sights on a broader audience. For those with a love of Jack White, the Black Keys and Kings of Leon, now is the time to set a new place at the listening table. 










KiD FERRiS is an artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based out of Portland, OR. He blends multiple styles to create a unique blend and genuine fusion of psyche-rock, hip-hop, indie-electronic, and pop. He tends to gravitate towards music that comes from the soul and inspires us to be true to our higher selves. After years of playing guitar, singing, and making songs for fun, he decided to pursue music production in 2017 to take his music to the next level and start to really create the music that he had always dreamed of.


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