A great song works in any setting, even with just a singer and some strummed Guitar chords. This has come up in several of the interviews already and, no doubt, will come up again. It is true. Even in the most simplest setting, a great song will communicate and connect with listeners. Now having said that, there is something magical about finding the right sonic landscape for a song to live in. The right singer telling the story with a great orchestration is magical. It doesn’t have to be a lot of instruments. But, it has to be the right instruments playing the right parts to push that story ahead, to emphasize the correct places. While every song works in a simple setting, each song also has a sonic soundscape (or maybe a couple, check out the cover tune series at http://musicismyfirstlanguage.wordpress.com/ ). The first song my son and I heard by Golden Youth was “Brother In The Morning Light”. It’s a magical sound that instantly transports you somewhere. We both immediately wanted to know who this group was. I immediately requested an interview, which I’m thrilled to share with all of you.
Names: Kyle Monroe & Stephanie Lauren
Current City: Just moved to Nashville, TN
Record Label: Slospeak Records
Most recent release: “Quiet Frame ; Wild Light”
Kyle – Guitar, Vocals, many other instruments
Steph – Vocals, Piano, many other instruments
Kyle: Sometimes it can be so strange just to talk a bit about yourself. I am 26. I’ve played
a lot of music with different people over the years and can honestly say this venture has
been the most rewarding. After college, I started engineering/producing bands and I’m
glad I did, because that’s how i came in contact with Stephanie again. She came to my studio and we hit off.
What is your songwriting/composing process?
Kyle: I am not sure exactly what it is. I generally go by the thought of… If it’s working, go with it. Sometimes, it is in a room by yourself with one instrument. Sometimes, it is with the whole band just brainstorming together. Recently it has been sitting in college lecture halls (where I won’t be noticed) and writing lyrics. Something about a monotone teacher keeps me focused on writing.
What are you most proud of?
Kyle: I would have to say my bandmates. Steph, Jesse and Steven are such talented musicians. Its really been great to just enjoy their playing and their personalities. If I’ve learned one thing from playing in bands, it is the importance of playing music with friends and being happy with what you are doing. I don’t think I’ve had a bad experience with our little group…. bunch of nerds. haha.
Musically, I would have to say the orchestral arrangements on our little record. It was so fun to be able to use my education (in composing/conducting) on music that i had been a part of. Writing sheet music and making sense of the songs instead of just guessing is my favorite part of writing.
What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Of my own… I like it just because it sums up what i like to write about.
Life is often sad, and I think those are the best subjects because we all go through it.
“I know that you feel the same way sometimes.The idea of me seems better than i really am”
“Why don’t we stop fooling ourselves? The game is over, Over, Over. No good times, no bad times, There’s no times at all, Just The New York Times”
If you could sit down and talk songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
I think sitting down with Sam Beam of Iron and Wine would be such an interesting conversation. He is one of those artist that has really reached a lot of people through so many windows of his writing.
From the first album being a hissy, lower quality recording, yet being able to create something so original and groundbreaking. And now being able to do the same thing with his large band, big studio recordings.
It just proves that a good songwriter can connect with a listener no matter how the song is presented. I’ve always thought that a great song is great whether its played with a full band, symphony, acoustic or even a Capella. I think he has captured that and i would love to pick his band on how he approaches each song. whether it is deliberate or its just something that comes out of him without control.
What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Be inspired. Don’t replicate.
Music is inspiring. There is no doubt about it. I can’t help but want to song write after listening to Simon and Garfunkel. There maybe a hint of inspiration from them, but it doesn’t mean I am trying to create songs that could have been theirs. Let other artists write their music and you write yours.
If it’s honest, people will be on board.
To view Golden Youth’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to;
All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.
I truly appreciate everyone that has stopped by, talked about this blog and/or shared with friends. Please continue to share this page and site with fellow music lovers. Next time you’re out at a venue watching music, ask the performer(s) about songwriting, music, lyrics etc. You’ll enjoy it.