The new album from Kemp Ridley is aptly titled Learn Again. It is an album that took a long time to make, and an album that saw changes in each members life in the process.
The talk around town four years ago was that Cayla Fralick needed a band. A talented singer songwriter with a pitch perfect voice, all she needed was a supporting cast. Fralick dropped off the map for a couple of months and the next thing you know Kemp Ridley was formed. It wasn’t exactly easy early on though. The band was mostly rewriting Fralick’s solo material and had yet to perfect the dynamic of writing as a band. Something a lot of bands never learn to do. The shows early on were rough, and spotted with as many little mess ups as there were high moments. The growing pains exacerbated by the fact that Kemp Ridley was made up of five full time college students. The one thing that was always obvious was their potential to stand out. They are charming heady musicians. The reason they won St. Patrick’s Day Battle of the bands, and played high-profile shows opening for Hootie and The Blowfish in Charleston and at the main stage of Fall for Greenville. All they needed was an album. An album that represented who they really are.
September 2011 is when it started to happen. A successful Kickstarter campaign and a still anonymous donor opened the door for their first album, Learn Again. An album waiting to be made. Waiting for Kemp Ridley to find comfort in being a band. The actual recording process was slow. Working with Eric McCoy at Archer Avenue Studios was a huge advantage, but being seniors in college, applying for jobs, and playing shows while recording was a challenge. A challenge that they overcame to make this album that is so representative of them. Learn Again is filled with its ups and downs. Animated songs like “Honey, Honey” sit beside more deliberate songs like “Small and Quiet”. It’s a natural balance that they didn’t try to fight. The five members of Kemp Ridley personality wise, are characters. They are funny, sometimes goofy, and wear their sense of humor on their sleeves. Whether it is through their Kickstarter videos, promo shots, or nailing a Rage Against The Machine cover, they don’t shy away from a laugh. But that’s not all they are and they make that obvious too. With members getting married, starting full-time jobs, starting higher education, or working on a SceneSC IPA Brew, Learn Again could be Kemp Ridley’s Swan Song. Or it could just be the beginning.