My emo roots run deep and I can’t help but squeal a little in delight when I find a new up and coming emo revival band to fall in love with. This time it’s a new act out of Kingston, New York that has caught my attention with their debut EP, Everything’s Bad. Kyle & the Pity Party may be a young band, but they show a lot of talent right out of the gate. Vocalist Kyle McDonough has been crafting songs as a solo artist since he was 18, taking inspiration from blues, acoustic folk, and, of course emo. Now at 23 he has been looking to add some electricity to his tracks and with the help of some friends formed Kyle & the Pity Party.
“Spill It All” starts the album off with bluesy guitars that spill into some great rock riffs as the track goes on. McDonough really packs an emotional punch with his vocals as he sings about letting go of his love so that they can be happy. The guitar solo at the 3 minute mark is what really pushes this track into a quick favorite and gets me excited to listen to the rest of the EP. A catchy bass line starts off “He Was / She Was” driving the song along to the chorus when the guitars take off. Keeping the instrumentations simple during the verses really allows for the listener to appreciate the emotion McDonough can put into his vocals.
Kyle & the Pity Party slow things down a bit on “Where the Girls Are,” making it the most straight up emo track on the album. Weepy guitars match McDonough’s woeful vocals perfectly. I’m a sucker for the slow depressing songs so it’s clear that this will be a track that gets a lot of plays for me. “I Love You, Let’s Heal” also starts out nice and slow featuring McDonough’s soft crooning over some pianos and haunting backing vocals. The track showcases how great the foursome are at showing restraint still make an affecting track.
It’s easy to see why “Young” was the first single released from Everything’s Bad. It’s possibly the most upbeat, emo song that I’ve ever heard. Shimmering guitars dance along the infectious beat while McDonough sings “What’s a guy to do? / I’d walk through fire for you / I’d even listen to Brand New / If that’s what you want to / I would do anything for you.” “He’ll Never Love You” starts out simply with McDonough’s vocals over simple piano chords before fading in the guitars and drums. It’s not as loud and boisterous as “Young” but it’s just as catchy.
Kyle & the Pity Party show a lot of musical talent and promise in the six songs that pack Everything’s Bad. While the foursome have a lot of qualities of an emo band, they are accessible to more than just the emo fan base. Mixing genres like blues, folk, and rock into their sound help a lot with this and make them stand out among the numerous other emo revival acts out there.