Little Rock singer-songwriter Kyle Mays, previously of the band Grand Serenade, has released a new song. Titled “Burnout,” the tune will be on his second full-length album, “Cedar Heights,” out on Friday, Sept. 15. “Burnout” is his first single since last year’s “Juniper” EP, which contained “Little One,” one of our favorite tracks of 2022.
While the instrumentation on “Juniper” was limited to mostly acoustic guitar and vocals, “Burnout” returns to the light and dreamy rock of his first record, 2020’s “Night Dives.” All of the instruments were played by Mays, except for drums, provided by White Water Tavern sound engineer Jordan Trotter, who mastered the forthcoming LP.
Mays shared his thoughts on the lyrics: “This song represents being 23 and moving to the city. Having that feeling of overcoming the small town stereotype. I was called a burnout many times in my teen years when I played music. No one thought I was serious enough to do anything with it but what they didn’t understand is that I wasn’t doing it for any type of recognition.”
That theme — of stasis and progress coexisting — can be heard in the “Burnout” arrangement as well. Though the drums move at a relaxed pace, the electric guitar is animated by a lively delay effect, creating a steady tension that comes to a head in the form of a driving instrumental section, replete with satisfyingly unexpected triplets.