Kyle Daniel had a little more to say than he expected in making his second EP, What's There to Say?, which premieres below.
"I kind of set out to do it the exact same way, with the exact same players, but it wasn't that easy," the Nashville-based singer, songwriter and bandleader tellsBillboard. After an initial mixing session for the material "didn't quite feel right." Daniel took a step back and revised everything. Now, he notes, "I feel exponentially better about the record -- sonically and, overall, from a song standpoint as well. We were a little more meticulous of what we were looking for this time." That was a big difference from last year's self-titled effort, which was recorded and fully mastered over the course of just 12 days.
"As a brand new artist, I wanted to show we had grown -- I had grown as a writer and the sound had evolved a little bit, without going too far beyond what we'd done before. Although it took a little longer, I feel better about it."
What's There to Say?, out March 15, runs a comfortable gamut, from the muscular rock of "Born to Lose" and "God Bless America (damn Rock N Roll)" to the twangy gentle ring of the title track, which was inspired by a "pretty rough patch, personally" after a romantic breakup. "I had admittedly done somebody wrong, and I don't think there's any recovering from certain instances when you break somebody's heart," Daniel explains. "I don't have the greatest of track records with that, so maybe that was kind of, subconsciously, my way of saying, 'Look, I know that what I've done is wrong but that doesn't necessarily mean there can't be forgiveness in the end.' What can you really say when you've done something like that to somebody?"
That said, Daniel also hopes his songs are open-ended enough to not just be about his story. "I want to really give the listener an opportunity to insert themselves into what the song means," says Daniel, who in addition to being a performer also worked as a tour manager on Taylor Swift's Red Tour -- "When I realized real quick I wasn't cut out to be a tour manager whatsoever" -- and as part of the crew for Vintage Trouble. "When I was growing up, every single song you hear, you try to relate yourself to it. I wanted to adopt that sort of mentality of making sure people could put themselves in the scenario of my songs without pigeonholing the concept too much."
Daniel has filmed five live performances for each of the songs on What's There to Say?" and is already on the road, including dates with Black Stone Cherry in May. He has a desire to play as far and wide as he can this year. "Last year we didn't leave Nashville," Daniel says. "We stuck around here and tried to grow this thing organically, start the buzz here and see what happens. But we had social media and had people from different places going, 'Hey, when are you guys gonna come play Asheville, N.C., or wherever. So this year we're hitting the road and we'll stay out there and make sure we can go back to these places and sell some tickets."