From the moment Kyle Donovan sings the opening line off his new album “One distant star on the interstate, guides me back home to you,” his high falsetto sets the stage of an immaculate folk record to come. His striking tenor sits front and center throughout Then and Now, supported by top-notch playing and solid songwriting.
Although Donovan released two albums before with his band Miles Wide — 2014’s Moon Howls and 2016’s The Kindness of Strangers — Then and Now is his first as a solo artist.
He explained, “Then and Now is an exploration of universal emotions, told through a retrospective lens. Some of its major themes are the passage of time, coming of age, and the complex nature of love. Although the songs all draw from my personal experience, they all have a surreal nature to them — something that I hope makes them more interesting and relatable. The album has a dark, mysterious quality at times, but also comes up from the depths for a breath of fresh air on songs like ‘Aftertaste.’”
Donovan is joined by an array of prominent Front Range artists, including members of Bonnie and the Clydes, Banshee Tree, and Monocle Band. A true DIYer and self-taught sound engineer, Donovan undertook the recording, mixing, and mastering of the album himself over the course of three years, consulting with numerous audio engineers including two-time Grammy nominee James Tuttle.
“Bringing such a diverse range of musicians together was an amazing learning experience in itself,” he said. “When I would ask musicians if they would be interested in playing on the album, I almost always received an enthusiastic, ‘Yes!’ More than anything, I feel proud that local musicians, engineers, fans, and friends were willing to invest time, energy, and resources to help record this music. It’s a huge honor.”