top of page

KaiL Baxley: Soul In Spades

I always seem to be on the lookout for a type of song that has a certain degree of depth or soul. A song that cuts write thru to my subconscious and catches the attention of something primal and pure. It’s quite difficult to describe since it doesn’t necessarily have any particular characteristics that can be easily ascribed or copied. The song either has it or it doesn’t and it’s as simple as that. It’s a type of song written not because the musician wants it to exist but because they feel it has to exist.

KaiL Baxley seems to have this in spades. The first time I heard him, I could immediately feel that sense of raw honesty and depth that piques my interest so intensely. His unique voice is so powerful and has a sort of pain to it, a pain that I feel he’s made peace with but knows how to make it work in his favor. His songs are beautifully constructed with clever and descriptive lyrics that are often paired with many different musical elements and arrangements which he’s able to cohesively fit together seamlessly. On top of all that, he showcases quite the musical genre range, with songs from funky soul to a bluesy, new wave, gospel-esque sort of vibe.

From learning to dance from the godfather of soul himself James Brown, to pursuing a career as a professional boxer, to traveling the world at a young age, it’s quite incredible to see he has even had time to teach himself how to play guitar and write these incredibly deep and meaningful songs. After listening to his complete discography, I was so blown away by the magnitude of great songs he has put out. So, I wanted to put together a Top 5 playlist (which was extremely difficult to do) for you to see what a truly great musician is out there lurking in the shadows.

Say Goodbye to the Night

A simple acoustic riff starts out in this song but it drastically builds to an incredibly rich blend of drums, orchestral strings, and of course that soulful Baxley voice. It’s a very inspiring and uplifting melody that is powerful yet subtle in its delivery. The end of the song does a great job of building to a crescendo with the dubbed vocals accompanied by the more pronounced orchestral strings.

Boy Got It Bad

This song will bring out something primal in you. The deep bass humming in the background, clapping beat, Baxley’s voice and beautiful melody on top of it make for a truly deep and soulful start to a song. His lyrics are very open and honest and seem to offer some insight into his troubled life. His voice really showcases that controlled pain I referenced earlier in the article and really seems to allow him to hit the higher notes in the melody.

Feelin About You

This a song off of his most recent album Beneath The Bones and it comes in hot with a 1920’s jazz club swing beat accompanied by an old school double bass slapping away in the background. Throw in a sweet horn solo and you’ve got a great example of the type of range Baxley truly employs.

Ballad Of Johnny Steel

This was the first song I ever heard from Baxley and it was the beginning bass line that truly piqued my interest. It was that voice that really sealed the deal, as it complements the soul and swagger of that bass line. The addition of a horn section to this song and choir of background singers, really showcase Baxley’s musical range and how he’s able to seamlessly combine so many different musical elements.

Chasing James Dean

This song for me really demonstrates Baxley’s lyrical prowess. So many cool and descriptive lines, that are matched with a powerful melancholy melody. The chorus is what really sticks out for me. It seems so powerful for just being an acoustic guitar, slide guitar and a beautiful melody. I love that he opted to just use the strumming noise of the acoustic guitar in place of drums. Really unique and powerful song.

29 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page