Kyle Craft’s Nightmare

Music Review Craft7 1 08
Photo credit: Courtesy Sub Pop Records

Kyle Craft’s tales of debauchery soaked searches for love come to life on his latest record, Full Circle Nightmare, an album showcasing a true romantic’s heart and a penchant for timeless storytelling. Produced by the Decemberists’ Chris Funk, Craft’s second Sub Pop offering sees the Louisiana native crystallizing the Marc-Bolan-fronts-the-Band sound that got him signed to the legendary label in 2015.

Craft mourns failed romance in a fashion true to his Louisiana roots, throwing a rollicking jazz funeral for his broken heart. “You were a charmer / I was a heartbreak junky” Craft sings with a sneer on “Heartbreak Junky,” demonstrating a willingness to throw himself laughing into the holy fire calling his name — emotional consequences be damned.

Whether it’s “The Rager,” where Craft considers a woman who’s “the player of the playboys,” or “Slick & Delta Queen,” where he implores a former love to “Keep your feet out the wedding aisle,” Craft wields enough talent to spin his heartache into gold throughout Nightmare.

Like many others, Craft seeks powders, pills, and potions to quell heartbreak. But when he wakes up on the floor in last night’s clothes, head pounding like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Craft dusts himself off, smiles, and wonders where the next romantic calamity will materialize. He understands that the sun also rises. As such, Full Circle Nightmare is a knowing wink between Craft and the listener, as though he’s sitting next to you at the bar, buying drinks and insisting that everything will be alright. That ability to transport the listener into a world the record creates lies at the heart of Craft’s triumphant ode to star-crossed romance. ★★★★☆

Kyle Craft plays the Earl Thurs., March 22. With Drew Beskin. $10-$12. 8:30 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.

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