Kyle Bobby Dunn is an ambient musician. I started listening to him around the same time that I—Kyle—started dating a man—whose name is Bobby, which has made his work much more special because we share so many names.
KBD is a bit of a dark/light character. His music stands in between the terrifically emotional and sad and the laughing, the joking, the smiling-to-keep-from-crying. All of his work is touched by an elegance that seems to only be catching the attention of super cerebral music nerds who like to listen to droning sad songs to get through the day (or to fall asleep). His work has always wallowed in this melancholia and meaning, a sort of bigger picture wandering around grand philosophical conversations through arching, stretched guitar. You see that in Ways of Meaning and Bring Me The Head Of Kyle Bobby Dunn and his most recent Kyle Bobby Dunn & The Infinite Sadness. While his work has always maintained a “Me against the sad music :(” vibe, that last album went most direct with the tension as the songs were titled giddy things like “Boring Foothills Of Foot Fetishville” and “Duck Faced Fantasy” and “Confessions Of The Mildly Miserable.”
But now is a special time in the not-great way: KBD actually has something we’re hearing about that is sad. Peppered into ambient conversations on social media has been talk that KBD is ill and is having trouble with his medical expenses. Last year’s PERILS collaborator and friend Benoît Pioulard more or less broke the news on Facebook by speaking about KBD’s medical issues. Moreover, if you peep KBD’s website, you’ll catch a very subtle reference to it with the vague opening description, “trying to gets funds together for medicine and recording at some point in life.” What ails KBD? I have not been able to find out but he obviously needs some help.
To help propel interest, KBD recently released a new six minute swallow called “Cescon.” The song is a previously unreleased guitar piece he popped onto his Bandcamp while working in Montreal, entirely composed and recorded by him. It’s a very quiet song and, like his entire catalogue, is an extended cry. It’s ethereal and light and bows, letting you ride into this light heaven of his making. Obviously, it’s beautiful and more of the same from an artist who has made a career out of emotional, adjacent electronic.
Here’s hoping for the best for KBD and, please, listen to the song below and support his work. Obviously, he would love that. You can listen to “Cescon” below and peruse some of his older releases here, where you can buy them more-or-less directly from him. Perhaps it will help lift him from his infinite sadness? That would be nice.