“Cruise Control” is the new single off New York City musician Kyle Avallone’s upcoming debut album, “Last Minute Man”. The song is an ode to the nightlife and all the satisfaction and suffering that comes with it. A nocturnal journey that starts with desire, ends with discontent, and investigates the dances that perpetuate our longing.
While establishing himself in the NYC music scene playing with artists like Cut Worms and Shilpa Ray, Kyle Avallone began working at home on what would become his new solo project, a dark and moody world where he could investigate the layers of romantic turmoil, hedonistic habits, and ordinary life.
His debut album, “Last Minute Man”, is a sleazy offering of Casiotones covered in barroom smoke and crimson cabaret light; a scuzzed out tower of songs that takes you on a late-night escapade littered with neon signs, bathroom debauchery, and 3AM rendezvous. You could be nightclubbing in Berlin with the ghost of Rowland S. Howard, or zig zagging across the floor of the Black Lodge with holes in your loafers, a tear in your dress.
“I wanted to escape the day-to-day,” says Avallone. That desire to run away permeates through all of the album’s nine tracks. In the sloppy swagger of “The Haunted Screen” a fallen angel has broken a wing at the expense of love. Despite his soul-sucking existence, he flies on. On the hypnotic closer, “Take Me Away” Avallone pleas, “Let’s sail the sea by night/The distant shore is bright/I’ve counted my cards, there’s nothing for me here/Disappear.”
Of course, there are other ways to check out—indulgence, excess, isolation. “Cruise Control” chronicles a night on the town in the manner of Bowie’s Thin White Duke—the pursuit of cold satisfaction and the untold numbness that follows. Over the incessant groove of “I’m Ready” a prophet, prince, or president lays claim to his throne and prepares for his ascension, as well as the end of days. “Somewhere You Can’t Find Me” puts you on the other end of a desperate phone call from the depths of addiction, a lost soul’s muddled goodbye.
But don’t be mistaken—it’s not all doom and gloom. Avallone’s lyrics and delivery contain an undercurrent of wry flirtation that suggests these characters can see beyond their torture. The title track, “Last Minute Man” evokes the self-deprecation and gentle chauvinism of Leonard Cohen—“When your drink is done/when the party’s no fun/when you bite and bat, but still he don’t come/that’s when the light shines on me…” The romantic ballad, “Borrowed Spell” finds our seducer waiting in anxious anticipation, fearful of what consequences love may bring.
These songs are a mirror in a motel where you only like the way you look if you’ve had enough to drink. This album is a soundtrack for those who fly too close to the sun.
1. Somewhere You Can’t Find Me
2. Savage Song
3. The Haunted Screen
4. I’m Ready
5. Last Minute Man
6. Borrowed Spell
7. Born A Bastard
8. Cruise Control
9. Take Me