There is this curious equilibrium to existence: In order to create balance, the universe must giveth, and the universe must taketh. Kyle Craft, with his now solidified backing band, dubbed Showboat Honey, know this all too well. And this is why their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless Showboat Honey reflects that sturm und drang. Though aesthetics veer from song to song, Showboat Honey’s steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a ’60s / ’70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics, in which perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan.
The band recorded Showboat Honey—co-produced by Craft, Clark, and Slater—at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fuelled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. But at the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now Showboat Honey, a moonstruck rock ’n’ roll record teeming with reckless abandon.