by Zolton in New Music on Saturday 9 February 2008

Empty Bottles was the first track by Santa Cruz songwriter Reed KD where I really felt like I was getting a sense for him as a lyricist. The song is a synergy of so many beautiful elements: from the bittersweet words to the subtle sweep of the acoustic picking. I asked him if he remembered writing it and the reaction he got the first time he played it to someone: ‘At the time I wrote Empty Bottles, I was living in an old garden shed that had been turned into a studio. There was a gap between the roof and the walls so that you could see outside while in bed in the loft. The bed sat on top of the bathroom and the kitchen doubled as a living room — or my recording space. Besides the bugs that came in through the gaps, and the neighbor’s cat that would climb in through my screenless skylight, I was living alone. However, this place more than made up for its lack of integrity with charm. When I first played Empty Bottles for my closest friends, it seemed like they were a little surprised. I’m typically very shy, so being outspokenly intimate probably seemed uncharacteristic of me. Paraphrased, I’d say their typical response was, “Really?!. That’s so sad. But I really like it. Is that an accordion?!” Ha ha …’ Would you describe your songwriting as confessional, or do you more project into other people’s lives to form your lyrics? ‘Hmmm … I’d say that many of the songs on The Ashes Bloom are loosely, but sometimes rigidly, based around autobiographical happenings’. You Can Call Me is a big diversion from the rest of the material on the album — if only for the classic synth pop feel (long live The Cars!) A pointer for the next album perhaps? ‘Yikes … This is a deceptively complicated question for me. I’ve been working on a few electro-pop songs, some boot stompin’ hand clappers, some ambient songs. I hate to be vague, but I’m still a fan of the idea of covering myself in body paint and throwing myself on the canvas to see what feels good’.

Listen to the Reed KD song, Empty Bottles.