Music: Take Me Home by Nolan Kennedy – Philadelphia, PA

NolanBorn with an ear for sound, Nolan Kennedy draws listeners in with his compelling lyrics and subtle but powerful melodies. His debut album “the honesty theory” has been receiving much praise and has been quickly gaining traction since its release in October. His first single “Apologize” is currently circulating radio in the Philadelphia area.
Nolan’s music comes from a deeply personal place. His lyrics tell stories about his life experiences and those who are a part of it; from problems at home to more personally centered problems, the good and the bad side of humanity, and finding a place somewhere within and between it all. His songwriting comes from a place of vulnerability, for other people to find.
Born and raised in the Greater Philadelphia Area, he began playing violin as a child but quickly moved to guitar because he felt it was more conducive to thought. Nolan felt he could more easily fill in the blank spaces of what he couldn’t play by singing whatever was going on in his mind.
Developing his unique sound in college, Nolan collaborated with various artists of different backgrounds. From this, he began taking pieces from each style and method while slowly crafting his own sound. He moved to New York City after graduation to further explore the evolution of his music and performance.
Inspired by life’s events, Nolan’s ultimate goal is to help people…through writing his aim is to help listeners reflect on their hardships as well as appreciate their greatest memories.
“The lyrics of other people’s songs are what made me want to become a writer; and the way melody has a way of taking over your entire body is what made me want to become a musician. The way music gets me through life…I owe that back to the world.”
Check out his lyric driven track, “Take Me Home” and make sure to read the interview and find out more about the track.
Why did you select this song as your current single?
I like to use the word “single” very loosely. It’s hard to identify with just one song, especially because the album is only seven songs long, each with its own influences and vibes to it. “Take Me Home Pt 1” is one of the songs off “the honesty theory” that doesn’t get the proper attention it deserves, which is why I chose it as my submission song.  It’s lyrically driven over a simple melody, and the upright bass is absolutely killer. Lyrically it comes from a very confusing place in my life and I think people can relate to it. I selected “Take Me Home” for that exact reason; we’ve all been in that place before, I felt it just needed to be heard and expressed.  Meanwhile, songs like “Apologize” have been chosen as the radio “single” playing back home in Philadelphia and “Devil Creep” has been the choice for the upcoming music video. They’re all singles in their own way because they mean different things; all good, just different.  They each serve a different purpose for me.
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?
For the most part, all of my songs are lyrically driven and all come from a personal place, including “Take Me Home Pt 1.” That’s how they’re all the same.  It’s different from the rest of the album in the sense that if you listened to each song in isolation from the others, you may end up categorizing them in different spectrums of the rock or folk genres. They all seem to lean in a different musical direction while all somehow still being me. “Take Me Home” is definitely the jazziest song on the album.
What was the writing process for the song?
This is actually one of those songs where half the words came to me while I was in the shower; I remember turning the water off halfway through and running to grab my guitar. I didn’t even bother to dry off.  The rest came over time; variations here and there. The original concept for the melody came via a jam I was having with my cousin years ago; we played together in college and called ourselves “The Last Great Regime.”  We kind of “raised” this song, so to speak, throughout college; a few changes here, a few changes there.  It’s in its final version now of course. Some of my best writing moments still come from playing alongside that dude. I hope he’s reading this. He has no idea I plan on taking him on tour if we ever get there.
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
These lyrics come from a pretty lonely time.  I was in college when I wrote this, and I was around people all the time. I just couldn’t help but feel trapped inside myself and very lonely. I was in a relationship at the time and was having a hard time understanding where I stood in it, I was having a hard time understanding what ‘love’ was and coming to peace with it. I remember longing to be somewhere else; physically, emotionally, mentally, but not knowing exactly where that was. I wanted to go “home,” obtain the essential warmth and feeling of what that was, and I didn’t know where to look. I just wanted to go there. 
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
It’s an intimate song and I think goes best performed barebones; just me and a guitar. It’s more personal that way. I do most of my gigs unplugged and it can really have an emotional effect on the audience. It’s raw; the song is raw. It’s a vulnerable position to be in, on-stage alone in a dim room, especially when you’re singing emotionally driven lyrics. Seeing me perform this can be really engaging if you can relate lyrically. At least I hope so, I want to move people.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?
To a certain degree. I love an engaging lyrical piece and I love the acoustic sound; but I can’t promise that’s my constant definition. Like I said before, all the songs from the album are different so it’s hard to stand behind just one and say “this is me, one-hundred percent.”
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
There’s no video planned for this particular song at the moment, but we did just finish shooting a video for the last song off of “the honesty theory” called “Devil Creep.”  Similarly though, “Devil Creep” is also a slower song where I’m trying to identify my place within a certain experience. The video is in its editing phases as we speak and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it came out. We shot at an abandoned mental health facility in the snow; very cool visually. I’d like to be able to do a concept video for all of my songs; it’d be great to encompass aspects of visual art behind each piece.
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
I started playing music publicly when I realized people were relating emotionally to songs I had written for myself as a form of reflection. In that sense I’m a selfish artist; I write for me, but we’re all human beings and share common experiences. When people like how you express certain aspects of the human experience, there’s something really cool about that. I want people to hear my songs and think about their own lives. As for the end goal, I’d like to be able to support myself and the people I love with just music and art. I don’t need to be on the cover of Rolling Stone; it’d sure as hell be awesome though.

Kennedy cover art
Social Media:

Twitter: @thenolankennedy
Instagram: @nolankennedy
YouTube: Nolan Kennedy

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