Some people just have the ability to tell a story in a song. You don't need to hear a lot of the new album Dirty Wonder to know that K Phillips is one of them. You can pick any song on the album as an example of his ability to write a song and tell a story. "Hadrian" is a prime example. There is a real literary quality to this song. It's hard not to think about The Flying Burrito Brothers when you hear the melody of this song - especially the pedal steel. To cap it all off the song features Adam Duritz on harmony vocals. If you wanted to teach a class about songwriting, this would be a pretty good song to present to your class.
The title track is a song that definitely grabs the attention. This song is equal parts country and rock and roll, especially in the piano. There is also a soul component in the backing vocals. This song feels a bit like a Rolling Stones tune.
"Rom Com" is another great example of Phillips's ability as a songwriter. It's not hard to envision the couple described in this song from the moment they meet to the mention that the two sleep in separate beds. The way Phillips presents the song, it feels more like a film about a couple than a song.
This is an album that ranges from dark country ("Hock the Horses") to groovy soul ("Don't Wish Me Well") reminiscent of Trigger Hippy. Phillips shows real talent as a songwriter and storyteller, much like his namesake Kris Kristofferson. In fact, each of the songs feels like a short story set to music. In that regard, he's a lot like Cory Branan. Dirty Wonder (Rock Ridge Music) will be available everywhere on March 10.