OC Music Magazine Article on “Smile” and playing at Quiksilver
September 12th, 2011
Stoked on the great article of my new "Smile" EP in OC Music Magazine. Thanks Chantel!!!
Full Article here: Kevin Miso Makes Us "Smile".
The Quiksilver shop was crammed with tan, beautiful people; I was meekly hiding behind a rack of clothes, listening to the music. It was precisely what I expected to hear so close to the ocean. There were sweet lyrics, warm, sunny tones, and a laid back vibe that simply makes you feel good. However, it wasn’t long until I heard something that truly surprised me.
“So, what cover can you do that’s, like… thefurthest away from your genre?”
An odd request to be sure, but singer-songwriter Kevin Miso seemed completely unfazed; he strummed his guitar after only a moment’s hesitation, treating the employees and patrons to a fun (and surprisingly good) acoustic cover of Lil Wayne’s “Mrs. Officer.”
This humble performance (before a rack of men’s swim trunks) was part of Laguna Beach’s First Thursday Art Walk, and Miso’s music drew crowds of all ages as he played tracks from his latest EP, Smile. A native of Long Beach (and of Hawaiian ancestry), Kevin grew up surrounded by musicians– his older sister Maile was even a founding member of Eden’s Crush, of the WB’s Popstars fame. Though he didn’t begin pursuing music in earnest until the college years, citing his time spent studying in Spain as the time he spent “honing [his] sound,” Miso’s Southern California upbringing clearly influences his musical style– something he affectionately names “Hawaii meets Cali.”
“My first [EP] is more well-rounded,” he told me on a break between sets, “But [“Smile’’] is like a summertime party.”
The five-track EP does unfold like a love letter to the SoCal summers we’ve all come to love so dearly. “We’re living where roads run to the ocean/We’re living where new life can be found,” Miso sings on the opening track, “Home.” The song is a relaxing guitar-driven track matched with an incredible harmonica solo: perfect for driving down PCH with the windows down.
Other tracks, such as “Smile” and “All I Want” are sweet love songs reminiscent of Jason Mraz. His optimistic lyrics about “worries fad[ing] away” and heart-melting harmonies are certain to win over any California girl.
Miso channels fellow LBC boys Sublime on his reggae-ish track “Rise Up” (my personal favorite). By focusing on minor chords and faster, rhythmic verses, he creates a sound that is still beachy and relaxed, with just a touch of edge.
Finally, the album rounds out with Miso’s cover of The Main Ingredient’s single “Everybody Plays The Fool,” and he brings his own remarkable style to the 1972 R&B hit.
You can hear Kevin Miso’s single “Smile,” as well as his eponymousEP, on iTunes, and you can see him perform at Hermosa Beach’s Saint Rocke on October 28th.