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“I didn’t have anything to say on this record, but I had so much to feel” – K.D.A.P. announces new Influences album

Eno, Morricone and early Warp releases shaped the sound of K.D.A.P.’s second

Pic: Colin Medley

Broken Social Scene bandleader and indie rocker Kevin Drew – better known by his artist name K.D.A.P. – has announced the release of his upcoming solo project, Influences

Ahead of the album’s release, Drew has shared the album’s lead single, ‘The Slinfold Loop’:

‘Influences’ aims to harken back to Drew’s younger days as a musician, having spent his teenage years and early 20’s obsessing over the work of Brian Eno, Ennio Morricone, Chicago post-rock and the early Warp Records catalogue.

However – in the alternate reality where ‘Influences’ takes place – Drew never left his basement, never met his future BSS partner Brendan Canning in 1999, never discovered a wider community of musicians, and never entertained his urge to write main-stage festival anthems. 

Instead, this version of Drew existed in 2021, and chose to focus entirely on solo production on the DIY music-maker and smartphone software ‘Endlesss’. The album spans the early ambient and electronic inspirations that first prompted him to make music 25 years ago, expressing those urges in a new, isolated environment. 

The product of this and last years’ lockdowns, ‘Influences’ insists on being an outdoor record rather than a basement record, written in real time during long walks through the woods of Slinford and along the canals of Islington, using the Endlesss app.

For Drew, the app revolutionised his approach to making music, with its interface reigniting in him a ‘childlike’ sense of experimentation. Instead of jamming with other musicians, Drew was interacting with the surrounding natural environment, intuitively changing his beats and songwriting depending on external stimuli – from the discovery of a new vista, to a cyclist whipping by and nearly killing him.

The alias ‘K.D.A.P.’ stands for ‘Kevin Drew A Picture’, reflecting the project’s artistically freeing nature. By the time he returned to Toronto following his lockdown in the UK, Drew had accumulated nearly 45 ‘song sketches’. 

Speaking on the music video for ‘The Slinfold Loop’, Drew said: “We live in a society that’s based on selling yourself back to yourself. It’s created an underground battle to constantly be searching for “true identity”. We wanted to create a video presentation that promotes exploring over searching and brings the mystical slide-show of never ending opinion to the forefront of this battle. We used available footage from the World Wide Web from other artists and cut together a blender of images to tell a love story about continuing to move forward amongst the never ending information of how one is supposed to live.” 

Despite the album only materialising between 2020-21, Drew had long before wished to make a solo project, separate to his Broken Social Scene endeavours. After two decades of playing with the band left him with a chronic back injury, Drew found himself relating to his former teenage self, who had been similarly bedridden with mononucleosis, and who enjoyed listening to instrumental music. At that time, he had found a clip of The Mission soundtrack on TV, which he had held on to as an untapped inspiration for decades afterwards.

After the pandemic provided him with the time and space to work on an album, Drew spent the first lockdown in London, before later relocating to the south of England. Much of the album was recorded at The Tragically Hip’s Bathhouse Recording Studio, where Kevin whittled his ideas down to eight compositions in collaboration with engineer Nyles Spencer. Elements of the tracks  were then re-recorded with ‘organic’ instrumentation, some of which was provided by La Force drummer Evan Tighe and BSS bassist Charles Spearin.‘Influences’ will be released on July 16 via Arts & Crafts Productions. Pre-order the album here