Nashville-based musician and songwriter k.s. Rhoads released his adventurous and engaging sophomore album, The Wilderness, on Tuesday. In correlation with the album seeing the light of day, Rhoads unveiled a video for the album’s soaring lead track “Orphaned.” The song sets the stage for The Wilderness‘ intended theme of “grappling with mankindʹs feeling of abandonment in this universe, and the hope that against all odds, we can, and will, be illuminated.” With the clip, we get a visual expression of that very theme with a lonely astronaut (who graces the album’s cover) drifting streets of a picturesque, small-town setting in broad daylight and encountering the world at his fingertips.
Rhoads, who previously fulfilled duties as bandleader and performer with the wayfaring collective Ten Out of Tenn (The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams, Ashley Monroe of The Pistol Annies, Mikky Ekko, Butterfly Boucher, Gabe Dixon, Katie Herzig, and Trent Dabbs), gives a proper taste of the heights his songs can reach on “Orphaned.”
Perhaps more impressively,k.s. dabbles with a litany of genres throughout The Wilderness. Mixing classic pop structures with indie eclecticism, hip-hop flourishes, lovely string arrangements and even a classical interlude, Rhoads pulls off the feat of crafting a wonderful-sounding record that refuses to balk at risks others wouldn’t touch. The versatility he achieves on the record is similar to the skilled curation of a genre-hopping film soundtrack played by various artists united in thematic spirit and unafraid of sharp turns. That k.s. does it mostly on his own is reason enough to take notice, but that he frequently hits all the right notes on songs like “Orphaned” is worth cheering him on.
k.s. Rhoads – “Orphaned”
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