For a long time now, Grant Kilpatrick—the Scottish Indie-rock songster quickly becoming a house-hold name in the Western Rock scene—has been dialing in the perfect amount of gain for his distinctive rawboned sound and aesthetic.
With feverish ambition, he seldom comes out of the gates without securing a team of renowned talents to help chaperone his heavy-handed vibes from mind to record; and on his latest sonic endeavor reaching us this year titled, "Close to You," that stratagem is no different.
For this track, Kilpatrick looked to Bruce Rintoul, the mastermind behind Twin Atlantic and We Were Promised Jetpacks, for his talent in production, and Ed Woods, the Mastering Engineer behind The Who and Reuben, for his magical way around the faders and EQ curves of his masterpiece. But probably the most vital aspect of this cut has to be the West-Lothian band bashing at their string and drum heads with constant vigor for the entirety of this Anthemic classic.
Here, over the scintillating riffage of Richard Fish's guitar, and the bombastic industrial rumblings being produced behind Euan Sked's drumset, Grant Kilpatrick commands attention from the first moments his emboldened voice slaps against your eardrums.
Over the opening line, "I'm seeing every little line laid out before me, just feeling my way, don't believe it's gonna take the time enough to show me, just breath in it's okay," and out of his turbulence and dismay, Kilpatrick finds a way to uplift and unravel amongst the tight-knit harmonics dissolving into the prismatic backdrops of this hot-blooded track.
When he arrives at the chorus, it's almost impossible not to lose track of time and space as you find yourself humming along to the infatuation topline melodies that dissolve from Kilpatrick's exercised vocal cords. Here, over the uproar and resounding of our Scottish intoner's captivating voice, the atmosphere super-charges with magnetized particles that aim at attracting all your senses over to his impervious love-torn narrative, where he decries over the hooking lines: "I'm screaming out, Holy Mother, it's secrets to be discovered, and I'll let no other lover come close to you."
As if all sounds melted into unison, the cruising band supporting Kilpatrick marries into their cohesive gear and cog relationship for the entirety of "Close to You," defining this track as an opus magnum created under this home-bodied songwriter's genius talent. And it doesn't come as a surprise, since Grant Kilpatrick has been dropping these sorts of indie-rock heavy-hitters on his listeners since 2019.
Hello Grant, thanks for being with us at BuzzMusic to discuss your latest release "Close to You" Can you run us through the conceptualization behind this track's narrative, and some of the challenges you've faced putting this song together?
To be honest I don’t often write with a narrative in mind. When I go down that route I often feel boxed in lyrical. So I just like to go with my instincts and fit the lyrics around the emotion of the track. It seems to have worked well for me so far but I wouldn’t rule out building a narrative around a song. I’m sure it’ll happen in time. In terms of challenges, the song came together quite quickly so that was great. I do always find it challenging to sing though, there’s plenty long soaring notes.
What sorts of emotions did you need to sharpen in on to get the kind of vocal performance you've established over "Close to You"?
In the studio I’m just concentrating on delivery and performance. Once you’ve practiced the song to death it’s all about putting over the emotion. To me that’s the most important thing, you’ve got to make everybody believe in what you’re singing about.
What was it like working with Euan Sked, Richard Fish, and Bruce Rintoul on this record?
Aw it’s great. These people are some of my best friends and I can’t emphasise enough how good it is to work on music together with them. I just want to get out and play live now! Bruce is a stunning producer who’s clearly really passionate about his work and has the client list to prove it. I really value his opinion along with the other guys too, it’s good for me to have other voices weighing in when putting together a track.
If you could preface this song's experience with a few words that would act as the Prologue for your listeners, what would you say and why?
I’m not sure, that’s a hard question. I think it’s up to the listener to feel however they want about the track but if you like an anthemic chorus then you’ll like this. I’m always trying to write the kind of music that people can sing back at me. If I can imagine a crowd of people singing it back then it passes the test.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
That’s easy but cheesy. My family, girlfriend, friends, my wee dug and of course good music. It’s as simple as that. I’m really enthusiastic about writing at the moment and that only seems to have ramped up since this coronavirus pandemic. I know right now isn’t the best time for a lot of people, but I’m just trying to grab on to anything positive and writing music ticks that box every time.