In-demand Los Angeles musician, composer and producer, John Carroll Kirby has released his latest masterpiece. Blowout was written on a recent stay in Puerto Viejo, and inspired by the local people, the music, and nature.
In 2021, John Carroll Kirby visited Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to film an episode of his Kirby’s Gold travelogue series with the Kawe Calypso Band. It was there that he wrote the majority of Blowout between the early-morning wake-up calls from the local oropendola birds and psychedelic sunsets. Kirby explains, “The oropendola is a very cool bird that lives in a sac-like hanging nest. There was a tree full of them outside where I stayed that woke me up every morning at 5 am, so I had to write a song about them.” The album was finished upon Kirby’s return to Los Angeles with a stripped-down band at 64 Sound Studios.
Blowout sways between the title’s two definitions – a moment of destruction and one big party. While writing the album, Kirby thought of episodes of collective madness or delusion, like Fyre Festival and the Heaven’s Gate cult. The album imagines “a festival where everyone gets beamed up to utopia or heaven instead of starving or dying unfulfilled.” Kirby says, “I’m trying to use imagination in music to create my own myths and keep things playful and funny and not too sanctimonious.” Though its songs are joyful, that joyfulness is tinged with melancholy. Kirby says, “Blowout is about enjoying yourself even though life is tough, before the candle blows out.
John Carroll Kirby is a producer, composer, and keyboardist from Los Angeles. He’s created a sound that’s recognizably his own over six solo albums and dozens of collaborations. Blowout follows some of his more iconic works such as My Garden, Septet, and most recently Eddie Chacon’s Sundown, which he produced. Kirby has also worked with a wide range of artists, from superstars Solange, Frank Ocean, and Harry Styles, to indie icons Yves Tumor, Liv.e, Remi Wolf, and Yu Su.