Home Exclusive preview! Kyp Harness shares ‘Prodigal Son’ video ahead of new album Kick The...

Kyp Harness shares ‘Prodigal Son’ video ahead of new album Kick The Dust

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If you aren’t familiar with Kyp Harness, then you have been missing out on one of the most powerful bodies of work any Canadian singer-songwriter has amassed over the past 30 years. With each new release, media outlets from coast to coast have hailed Kyp Harness as a genius, as his songs have been covered by Ron Sexsmith, Daniel Lanois and Mary Margaret O’Hara, among others. Sexsmith has called Kyp, “my favourite songwriter… it’s his lyrics that set him apart. They are every bit as powerful as the best Dylan, Cohen and Lennon combined.”

That brilliance is fully displayed once again on Kyp’s latest album, Kick The Dust, out April 26, a collection of nine timely observations of our fraying society, rendered with all the wit, wisdom and just the right amount of folk-rocking flair that Kyp’s die-hard fans have come to expect. Standouts on Kick The Dust, such as the first focus track “Prodigal Son,” along with “Business As Usual” and “Jesus Wept,” demonstrate Kyp’s unflinching ability to illuminate the dysfunction at the heart of our society.

It’s hard to discount the weight of experience on Kyp’s current work, but his worldview hasn’t changed that drastically since he released his debut album, Nowhere Fast, in 1991. Back then he was part a unique community of Toronto songwriters that included Sexsmith, Bob Snider and Bob Wiseman (soon to leave Blue Rodeo) whose approach foreshadowed today’s “alt-folk” scene. Kyp was (and continues to be) perhaps its most prolific and versatile member, with a string of albums from 1992’s God’s Footstool, to 1998’s pop-flavoured Houdini In Reverse, to 2002’s epic collaboration with The Dinner Is Ruined, The Floating World.

“I started to play music to get the songs out of my head and into the air,” Kyp said. “As I refined it, my enthusiasms led me to new disciplines, sometimes yelling out and trying to get to a new intimacy. To play music live excites me and is one of the only things that seems real, so I do it whether for a big audience or on a lonely outpost where no one hears. The essence hasn’t changed. I can’t define that essence, but I do think these songs are as close as they can be to it—right now.”

Indeed, the goal of every true artist is to boil their creativity down to its essence, so it’s hardly a surprise that at this point in his evolution Kyp Harness makes music on his own terms, and shares it whenever the need arises. And right now, we should heed the words contained on Kick The Dust as never before.

Check in with Kyp’s Bandcamp page for updates.

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