Kid Quill makes music for dreamers. The Indiana artist on the rise blends hip-hop and soul with a nostalgic ‘70s and ‘80s flair that is only elevated by his innate gift for storytelling. It is a notion that comes into focus on his captivating third album Sunset Diner, a hip-hop concept album for those aforementioned dreamers.
The 13-track release is a world unto itself, painting a cinematic picture of a night out at a diner, accentuated by otherworldy string arrangements and Kid Quill’s distinctive flow. The seemingly simple premise builds the foundation for a sonic journey brimming with life that pulls you in and never quite lets go. Kid Quill’s Sunset Diner is made to lose yourself in.
Check out Kid Quill’s track-by-track breakdown of Sunset Diner below.
“Meet Me at Sunset”
Cinematically, I wanted to introduce the concept and sonic landscape of the album with this intro. Think of the beginning five minutes of a movie, but told thru music. Tried to make it just as fun as it is bouncy and emotion-provoking.
This song picks up right where the intro leaves off as they bleed into each other. This one is all about lyrics and production. I wanted the production to be this whole journey and let my voice navigate and travel through it.
Sonically, this is the grittiest song out the 13 and it’s meant to stand for being defiant and rebellious. For me, this is one of my favorite drum pockets on the album. I wanted the song to build on itself so when you got to the bridge it could feel like this big grandiose “breaking free” moment.
This was actually one of the first beats we made for the album. I was inspired by the choir on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Stones and wanted to pay homage to that type of sound. To piggyback off of “Wait Here,” we wanted this one to feel like the listeners “get away” song.
“Make a Wish”
This song is meant to sound triumphant and celebratory. We wanted to really push boundaries and use an eclectic palette of sounds. Organ, strings, trumpet, 808s, electric piano, gritty synths, light synths, grimy bass, etc.
The production on this is the most reminiscent of the 80s out of any song on the album. I really liked the idea of having a song driven by synths, and then breaking it down to a pretty piano/string part. The last minute-and-a-half of this song is some of my favorite music on the album.
This postlude is all about the cinematic side of things. Wanted to try and paint this picture like you’re watching a movie.
We stumbled upon this really cool piano part that we effected to make it really bouncy and a fun backbone to the song. We built the rest of the production around that by adding our late ‘70s, early ‘80s sound pallet. If you think cinematically, this is the romantic comedy episode of the album.
“Chat (w/ the sky)”
From a conceptual side, there’s a lot of space and astronomical references throughout the album up to this point. So that’s where the production on this song took shape. We wanted it to feel spacey and futuristic, and we drove that concept by trying to sonically build a lift-off sequence with music to the last 40 sec. of this song. The whole process of it: walking up to the ship, preparing for lift-off, and blasting off.
“Good AM (interlude)”
Another strictly cinematic sequence I did with my old high school marching band. On my other albums, I did a lot of skits, but on this album I wanted to do those with music. It’s meant to represent morning time, but also wanted use it as a musical tribute to Mac Miller, hence the title “Good AM.”
“Last Night I Had a Dream”
We chose to keep this song broken down and more focused on my vocal and what I’m saying. On the last verse, I broke into tears while recording it and we chose to keep those takes where I was crying instead of re-doing it. The bridge is another one of my favorite moments of music.
This is the craziest one to me from a music standpoint. It has no real structure, but at the same time I think it still makes sense. We chose to go back to an eclectic sound palette: rhodes, strings, 808s, autotune, melodica, light/intense BGV’s, and a trumpet we put a lot of FX on.
Being that we were inspired by the sounds of the ‘70s and ‘80s, I wanted the last song on the album to sound the most inspired by that to musically drive home our concept. We even tried to mix the vocal the same way as they would have back then. The album ends with a two-minute guitar/piano solos.