KC McKee on dark swampy goth punk of new album Fools

KC McKee has a new album coming out on September 6 called Fools. It has a unique swampy goth punk sound. You can get a sneak preview on September 2 (tomorrow) at the 331 Club.

KC is based in St Paul; this is his fifth album and it was recorded single-handedly between late 2020 and early 2021. I would call it swampy goth punk. There are deep roots in a number of genres and those are the ones that seem most pronounced in most songs. Amazing to think that he recorded it all himself though because different instruments take center stage on different songs – like a harmonica in Ringing for Me or violin in Cat is In My Bag (and several other songs) and guitar in Walk Again.

I enjoyed the music but I’m going to enjoy them even more after talking to KC. There is a very dark undercurrent to the album – that comes from the era of pandemic and so much death – but that darkness isn’t depressing or maudlin, it’s observational. For example, Alligator sort of looks at climate change from the perspective of the alligator, who might find silver linings in easier access to people/food and weather better suited to his build.

I am impressed with the picture KC can paint with his music – even before the lyrics are added – the dirges feel laboring in an engaging way. Like watching a scary or sad movie – the emotion doesn’t transfer just starts a thought process.

His music reminds me of the biker band who often played in 1960s surf movies. Those guys were also a b-side story at best, but always seemed most intriguing to me!

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