kyle jacobson - "i can make new friends with you"

20 songs culled from over 100 unreleased gems, during the golden (silver?) years of kyles songwriting and spiting...everything from loner acoustic pop, to spoken/sound collage junk wierdness. sometimes like gnawing on your arm with wax teeth. a definite "loss" and attempt at "hope" - the uneasyness of letting go. this in an edition of 500 with hand painted/silkscreened sleeves. co-release with tired and shit.


every songwriter has to start somewhere. Paul Simon didn't just pick up a guitar and start playing America, folks. John Lennon didn't exactly sit down at 15 and write "I Am the Walrus." And, uh, have you ever listened to Bowie's pre-Space Oddity stuff? If you start writing songs, expect to write complete shit for years, at least, and maybe- hopefully- you move onto better things. Or you keep doing what you're doing and get a major label deal. That seems to be how things go now, but regardless.

I guess, though, that what you write may not be shit right off the bat. You might actually be pretty good. But no matter how much you or anyone else likes your first songs then, a more mature you is sure as hell going to hate them with all of your heart about five years down the road.

Kyle Jacobson's new album (which apparently came out a year ago, but just arrived here and I'm doubting you've heard of him, either) is a limited edition vinyl LP full of just these sort of songs: the kind that are actually pretty great and hint at exciting things to come, even if he's going to hate them in a few years.

Here's the catch, though. There is no "few years from now" for Kyle Jacobson. According to the press release that came with the album, the man behind the Kyle Jacobson stage name, Michael Allison, passed away in 2005. Knowing this (and, really, little else: the info sheet mentions "alcohol abuse and shyness" as reasons for its posthumous release) gives the album a very solemn sonic aura, one that's almost tangible. By the end of the record, you feel like you knew Allison somewhat, and you just discovered these tapes lying around in his things. Listening to them after the fact is both a sad reminder of his death and an unusual tribute to his life.

Now, obviously, I didn't know Michael Allison. I don't exactly feel close to him somehow via the lyrics, which are usually cryptic, or the music, which usually keeps the listener at a slight distant with its rough, noisy, yet almost childlike sonics. The record was obviously cobbled together from unfinished 4-track cassettes and brief ideas committed to tape. It's a bedroom record to be sure (it's not just that I don't know the song titles - I don't think that anyone does), but it's a good bedroom record, one given extra weight by the circumstances surrounding its release.

You probably know someone who's made a 4-track noisy semi-pop, soul baring, album in their kitchen that only gets distributed among friends. You may have even made one yourself. I Can Make New Friends With You is in that non-existent genre, except it's been released to the world for everyone to hear. Maybe Allison would be proud. Maybe this isn't what he wanted at all. But, ultimately it's a very good first release by an artist that will never have a second.

There are plans underway to unearth more recordings for a potential CD release, but Kyle Jacobson will never have the chance to look back at these early recordings and pretend like he doesn't remember them. And these recordings will never cease to be haunted by his memory. But as a statement, posthumous or not, it's surprisingly strong. Simply put, it would have been a wonderful start.

Buy I Can Make New Friends With You from Unread Records

Editor's note: I wish I had an mp3 to give you, but I simply don't right now. The label doesn't have any available and I don't have a way at present to create one from the vinyl at this moment. Just know that if you're a fan of bedroom 4-track albums, you should definitely give this a shot and pick it up, especially since it's only on vinyl and limited to 500 handmade copies. Plus, it's, like, ten bucks, shipping included. You may discover something really special. Once we can get our hands on an mp3, we'll post it for you, promised. - RETRO LOW FI

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A charming little LP from a charming label... As stated in the liner notes to the album, Michael Allison was Kyle Jacobson. In this posthumous 12" piece of wax we are introduced to Michael/Kyle and are really won over. The recordings are awful, there is no post production to speak of (and if there was you really have to wonder what the source tapes sounded like!), he can't really sing, the instrumental performances are amateur are best, and there isn't a cohesive feel to the album. All of that being said it is a mesmerizing view into the world of someone making the purest form of music. The source tapes were 4 track cassettes. The album wasn't recorded to be released an marketed. This is an project culled from 100 songs written and recorded out of creative drive. They range from poppy, acoustic, impress-my-girlfriend ballads to full out rocking breakdowns. Throughout "Friends" you can see the avenues Jacobson/Allison is drifting as he explores his musical niche. This album is limited to 500 copies and has been out for a bit now so I imagine there aren't too many left. Order a copy now and make a new friend. - RODENTIA MAGAZINE