Kenny Wesley probably isn't a name you're familiar with, unless you're a die-hard “So You Think You Can Dance” fan. However, with his debut album The Real Thing, Wesley has immediately established himself as a serious -and seriously fun- artist who's looking to bring funk back.
Welsey influences are undeniable – half the tracks on this album sound like great 70s funk, in the vein of Parliament or the Jacksons, with a heaping helping of current-day synthesizers on top. Wesley shines on these tracks, such as Real Thing and Taffy, with some down-and-dirty fuzz guitar riffs and hot drumming that make head-bobbing a virtual necessity.
The Devil Lives on Lyman
It was late, I couldn't sleep, and I was in a really dark place. I decided I was going to manifest all the things that pissed me off about my breakup and lack of closure into one song…One song that could really hit home...One song that could pull me out of the purgatory state I was stuck in.
I wrote out lyrics through the night compounding everything I could to stick it to her. I called it, "The Devil Lives on Lyman". Lyman was a street I lived on with my girlfriend, and living there I had never felt more disrespected by a person in my life.
Lyman is a beautiful quiet street in the Los Feliz district of east hollywood. It a street filled with young couples starting lives together. She was a sweetheart of a person and Los Angeles brought out the worst in her. She went from being the most trust worthy person in my life to the least over the span of a year of living together and I could do nothing but leave after the amount of disrespect I had taken over that year.
The opening line is "been missing her love, it's clear it went missing in her my dear", aims at how she transformed into a person I didn't know anymore. I reference John Smith as a John Doe type figure who she had cheated with as "thank god" I had an evident reason to talk myself out of putting up with it any longer. She had daddy issues, drug issues, self respect issues, and I addressed everything within what sounds like a very happy upbeat song.
The point of Lyman was to sound like a positive twee garage style song on the surface but to really hide the depths of the fuck you's I wanted to send to her specifically. This song meant everything to me to get me over that purgatory phase of not being able to move forward or go back, it was my final goodbye. I've been told by many it is one of the all time "fuck you" songs they have heard and that really resonates with me considering it was a very difficult thing to share these things with the world.
The Theme of the EP "Votive Flower" was inspired by my experience of taking an hour lunch break from work everyday writing songs in Elysian Park. I stared at the flowers in the park and saw a parallel between my relationship and their life. They both take time and energy to grow and once they bloom, there is a period of pure bliss before they can only wilt to dead (or a breakup = to death). This undoubtedly became the theme of the record.