New Sounds: Hear That One Eyed Kid ‘Crash and Burn’ with spectacular results


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For a few years now, Josh Friedman has been immediately recognizable in the city’s music scene. And that has nothing to do with his appearance, but rather his growing Midas touch as a producer, songwriter and collaborator, earning high marks for his work with Ruby Rose Fox, Jenna Lotti, and others.

This week, Friedman, under his working moniker of That One Eyed Kid, takes center stage with the Friday (May 5) release of new EP Crash And Burn, a five-track collection of lush, layered, radio-ready pop that does anything but what its title suggests. While the music shines bright — opener “Burn Right Out” furthers Passion Pit’s evolution of electronic-pop with added soul and R&B, and “Big Bright Red” nods to Pharrell’s composition genius — the music itself comes from a darker place demanding to see the light.

“The new material comes from a couple of places, but the reason it’s actually exists today is that I crave catharsis,” Friedman tells Vanyaland. “These five songs became an exercise for me in holding up my darkest, most unresolved insecurities to the light, blowing them out of proportion, and sharing them with strangers. It’s like the ultimate catharsis for me. The material on this record isn’t me as much as it is of who I might become if I leave my fears unchecked. Self-obsessed, lonely, manic, depressed… I feel these things, kind of on the edge of my day-to-day, and writing a song and sharing that with someone is a tried-and-true method for me to tame those impulses a bit.”

As a musician, Friedman operates in two separate lanes — as a producer and collaborator for others, and one for his own bit of demon-exorcizing.

“When I work on stuff for myself those fears start to loom pretty big,” he adds. “One of the main reasons I love working on other projects is I don’t experience that anxiety as viscerally. I also am just a fan of some of the music in Boston and just like working with unique, talented, driven artists like Ruby and Jenna Lotti. But it doesn’t address the personal stuff as much so it lacks that catharsis… I guess this record is about accepting all the parts of myself I’m uncomfortable with, and hopefully inspiring people to find the same sort of acceptance so they can move on and make a record or go outside or accomplish whatever it is that they feel held back from.”

Though we live in the age of the single and most music is digested three-minutes at a time, there’s an impressive common vibe that permeates Crash And Burn as it stylistically shifts gears along the way. Experience it in full below, and check That One Eyed Kid’s spring tour, which kicks off Friday in Vermont and wraps with a record release party June 8 at Thunder Road in Somerville.

That One Eyed Kid Spring Tour
May 5: Radio Bean — Burlington, VT
May 10: Parkside Lounge — New York, NY
May 11: Buzz Ware Village Center — Arden, DE
May 12: Front Porch Concert Series –Robbinsville, NJ
May 13: Teavolve Cafe — Baltimore, MD
May 14: Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge — Annapolis, MD
May 15: Boundary Stone — Washington, DC
May 18: Two Old Hippies — Nashville, TN
May 19: Cicero’s — St. Louis, MO
May 21: Uncommon Ground — Chicago, IL
May 23: Coal Yard Coffee — Indianapolis, IN
June 28: Thunder Road — Somerville, MA (record release show)