Kyle Cox makes music your grandma would love, ain’t no “Perhaps One Day” about it.
I wasn’t raised particularly close to the Rat Pack. I was more likely to hear the oldies or 80s station as a kid than lounge music. The closest I got to this era was going to see my grandpa perform with his community band; he played Sousaphone for OSU’s TBDBITL (even dotting the I during their famous “Script Ohio” routine) and to this day plays tuba, at the age of 90. This band is known for tapping into big band classics—still not quite lounge music.
Something about the holiday season approaching puts me in the mood to dive into this sound. Maybe it’s the nostalgia. Maybe it’s the simple pleasure of sitting in a neighborhood cafe with a glass of white wine, relaxing while I think of the week ahead. Nashville’s Kyle Cox is here to tap into both of these ambiances. As he croons “darling, would you dream a dream with me?” I can’t help but think “my grandma would like this.” In fact my late Grandma Getz once told me she used to swoon over Perry Como.
It’s easier for me to talk about nostalgia than comment on the music here, but that’s the effect Cox has. Admittedly, I’m not well versed enough to comment accurately on his portrayal of the genre. But I can mention how it makes me feel. I could see the opening track “No Matter How Far” playing in the background at the beginning of a wedding reception (I would not recommend “Still All Alone” for this purpose).
Cox does more than play music just for nostalgia’s sake, though. I have to admit that in this era of Tik Tok and Soundcloud churning out artists, I find his take on the world through this lens refreshing, even though I’m not a typical fan of the genre. “This World” waxes poetic on the state of the world we live in, reiterating the timeless truth that the most important thing in the world is love. The album closer “Lovers” continues this timeless feeling with a piano driven ballad, which feels oddly a bit dark, even in its warmth. It gives the listener something to think about.
I’ve been seeing Cox’s name pop up on the periphery of my music circles for the past few years, and I figured it was about time Tuned Up covered his music with true intention. Perhaps One Day is a good place to start with him.