Kieran Kane’s second Dead Reckoning album, “Six Months, No Sun” (released April 7), is a contrast in styles. The lyrics are melancholy, but the sound anything but. The Nashville singer-songwriter enjoys that contradiction.
“A review came in the other day,” Kane said recently, “where they thought the songs were, not depressing, but dark and suddenly realizing that they were tapping their feet and clicking their fingers along to them at the same time. To me, I kind of write grooves, so regardless of what the tone of the song is, it may be melancholy, but they’re usually groove-oriented in some way. They’re very simple, melodically.”
By design, Kane also took a new sonic route from his last album.
“One of the things I wanted to do,” he said, “was record some of the tracks in my own studio, kind of following my demo process, only being a little more careful because when I do a demo, if it’s not in tune, I don’t even care. I was looking for a whole new, bottom-end sound to the record. I was looking for something with more just rhythms and songs.
“A song like ‘J’aime Faire L’amour’ reflects that process the most in that it’s purely a groove in the song; there are no licks or fills, aside from the string parts. I also wanted to bring in Tammy (Rogers) and have her do kind of a string part playing.”
“Six Months, No Sun” is the first Dead Reckoning release of the year, three years after Kane formed the label with Rogers, Mike Henderson, Harry Stinson and Kevin Welch – a small indie alternative to mighty Music Row.
“It’s still slow,” Kane said, “but we’re still in business, and my accountant tells me that’s a victory in and of itself. In ’97, we only put out one record. We changed all of our distribution relationships; we’re no longer working with Rounder, and we have new distribution in Europe, so this album is the first album in the new rearranged way of doing business.
“I almost feel like we’re starting over again and, in some ways, a little bit smarter. We’ve figured out better ways of doing things, and we accomplished a lot in the first three years. We’re on a five-year plan, really, and I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now.
“The big problem is that we have no way of getting heard; there’s no serious radio outlet. I mean, it’s doing very well on the Americana chart, but that doesn’t turn into very much retail sales. The reviews have been tremendous, but reviews don’t sell records either.”