Since the release of his last full-length Happysad in summer 2018, Kiefer released the mini-album Bridges, toured the USA and Europe, and produced three beats for Anderson .Paak’s albums Ventura and Oxnard.
Kiefer considers Bridges and Superbloom to be a single cohesive project, with his new songs building upon Bridges’ sound. Bridges saw him expand his musical palette beyond the piano, working with a number of analogue synths. On Superbloom he takes that a step further, with songs that he describes as “brighter, more imaginative, and vibrant” — much like the natural phenomenon that gives the record its name. He describes Superbloom as a “very active” work: “The first five tracks are invigorating, while the final two tracks act as a grand exhale following all that energy.”
Kiefer, who studied jazz at UCLA under musician Kenny Burrell — the programme counts Kamasi Washington among its alumni — is now a mentor to musicians at every stage in their careers. As both teacher and student, Kiefer has adopted the motto “be encouraged and encourage others” and his music reflects that duality, virtuosic yet filled with straightforward beauty. Kiefer strives to portray the intensity of his interactions with the world in music, via the bravura performance on ‘Good Looking’ and the beautiful extended piano solo on ‘Be Encouraged…’ and ‘And Encourage Others’ (originally one song that was split over two tracks), while ‘10,000 Days’ and ‘20 May’ home in on simpler pleasures found in the everyday.
As Kiefer puts it, “This music is naturally me. It sounds like me. As with everything that I release, I am showing you what I love about music. Making rhythm, harmony, melody, and sounds that move me. I spend everyday talking to students and mentors and listening to music and finding things that I think are beautiful, and then translating them through my unique musicality. I’m doing it in a way that only I can, and regardless of how good or bad it may be, I’m trying my best.”
Photo Credit: Eric Coleman
- Feature Artist