Songs from the Green Room
“I see the exit signs / But I can’t open the door.” Pete Kilpatrick wrote these lines in the midst of the pandemic, and they sound like a pretty good excuse to give up and watch Netflix until we have a vaccine. But this singer, songwriter and seasoned live performer did the opposite. Kilpatrick had recording equipment shipped to his house and taught himself how to use it. The result is his eighth album, Songs from the Green Room – a five-track effort that finds the artist employing his slick acoustic-pop veneer to ward off feelings of despair. “Don’t lose your light / This is temporary,” he coos on the opening “Just Be,” the acoustic strums and electric flourishes polished to the saccharine sheen of a mid-’90s Dave Matthews ballad. (I’m not sure I agree with his thesis, but it sure does go down easy.) “Exit Signs” is the winner, its somber, piano-flecked arrangement and slow crescendo reminding me how much I still like Coldplay, despite all the times I’ve been told I’m not supposed to. Along with bandmate Pete Morse, who gave virtual assistance here, Kilpatrick has created some major-label studio sounds from his living room. Whether you’re in the mood for them or not, it’s an impressive accomplishment.