With a clap, a whistle, and the strum of a guitar, “You Always Make Me Smile” has invaded living rooms across America, having secured a spot alongside Holiday Inn’s latest “Stay You” commercial campaign. But its author, Nashville-based electro-pop artist Kyle Andrews, is more than those 30 seconds of a catchy pop song that you can’t get out of your head.
His latest album, Robot Learn Love, moves well beyond that simple pop ditty, bringing a broad field of sounds – guitars, synths, drums, vocals, almost all manned by Andrews himself, be it in a high-tech studio or just on his laptop – together under a single concept: modern life, as viewed through a filter of technology.
Audiences can take in old favorites, as well as tracks from this summer’s release, as Andrews performs alongside Ernie Halter at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Jammin’ Java. The News-Press spoke to Andrews before his show about his latest album and being a part of a national advertising campaign.
LP: What inspired you to take a look at modern life through the lens of technology on Robot Learn Love, and how did you go about doing that?
KA: It was just kind of a natural thing to do. With the social networks and that sort of thing, with a lot of my friends I’m interacting with them over the world just using the computer. I’ve had lots of different experiences interacting with people, using Skype or Facebook or instant messaging. And through the recording, I’m doing all of that on my laptop, so I’m sending out new music to people and getting instant feedback.
LP: Why make a concept album at this point in you career?
KA: It’s just something that seemed to form as the songs were coming together, I didn’t necessarily set out to do a concept record. It’s just what life has been the past year or so. I was working on the record, and it seemed like a fun way for me to tie some of those themes together. You write songs, and for me, a lot of the lyrics have very personal meanings. I wanted to do something that was a little broader so people could get into it and get involved and apply it. But that theme, technology, it is becoming so everyday and the difference between now and 10 years ago – even five years ago – is really interesting to me. I’m interested to see what the next five years will bring, and how people have assimilated that into their lives.
LP: What is it like to be channel surfing and hear your song playing on a commercial or a TV show?
KA: It’s a little surreal. We are at a hotel we played last night, and this morning on the TV there was something that played. It’s fun, and just kind of surreal.
LP: From record-breaking water balloon fights to youtube video mashups, you’ve created some inventive music videos. Are there any planned for this album?
KA: We made a video for “Lazer Tag With Imaginary Friends.” It was shot in Nashville, and basically I go around and activate all of my band members, and they have a laser tag battle. I’m really happy with how that turned out, it’s fun. Making videos is just another way to be creative and expressive and hopefully entertaining. That’s up on youtube now, and there is another one in the works for the song “The Search for a Heart.” That one we shot out in Hollywood with a director, Matt Barber, and that will be coming out in the next couple of weeks.
LP: What can fans expect from your next project?
KA: For now, we are all on the road and we’re playing shows and we’re just focused on playing and putting on the best show we can. It’s been really fun so far, we’ve branched out in the programming, with lights and that sort of stuff. It’s been fun to kind of develop and see the show grow and just have a good time with that. As far as new music, I kind of have a clean plate right now, and I’m looking forward to in the next few months being home and getting to make up some new stuff. So, this is kind of an exciting time.
• For more information about Kyle Andrews, visit kyleandrews.com.