Blitz Weekly

DEFDISCO adds Kirk Thurmond & The Millennials

If you haven't seen Kirk Thurmond & The Millennials perform then you've been missing out on something special. Photo Courtesy: JerSean Golatt

If you haven’t seen Kirk Thurmond & The Millennials perform then you’ve been missing out on something special. Photo Courtesy: JerSean Golatt

DALLAS, TEXAS – Dallas-based singer-songwriter Kirk Thurmond is proud to announce his signing with international record label and music agency DEFDISCO this April. As the fourth U.S. artist to sign with DEFIDSCO, Kirk caught the attention of the DFW arm of the label about a year ago. After gaining local traction with his first single off the LP last December titled “Break Free,” the label started conversations about releasing the artist’s remaining ten tracks this summer, ultimately signing him this April. Currently, Kirk and his band are in the studio putting finishing touches on what is sure to be an impressive release from the R&B/soul artist with help from local Grammy Award nominated mixing/recording engineer Joey Lomas (Kirk Franklin/CharleyPride/Najee/Neil McCoy) in Dallas-based studio January Sound. Additional details to be announced.

“We have been watching Kirk for the past year or so and feel that he has great potential, not only as a performing artist, but as a songwriter as well,” said Cliff Simms, the Dallas-based DEFDISCO VP of Creative Services who signed Sinclair and Thurmond to the label. “After discussing his album further, it was obvious we were on the same page. It made sense to bring him into the DEFDISCO family and offer him our support and network as a label and music agency.”

Born and raised in Dallas, singer-songwriter and guitar aficionado Kirk Thurmond joined forces with six band members forming Kirk Thurmond & The Millennials in November 2013 after a one-time show at The Prophet Bar. Thurmond, fresh off a solo college tour, set out to put on a burn-down-the-house soul show for the audience that night, without any idea that the group would end up sharing the stage for two years. A musical purist obsessed with executing each live performance to perfection, Thurmond had found his match in the artists who make up The Millennials with Gino Iglehart on percussion, Mike Clowes on electric guitar, Cris Brenham on keys, Jay Sandford on bass guitar, and Jamall Houston and Chanese Jones on background vocals. The artist’s laid back, soulful vocals and fresh guitar riffs complement complex lyrics in the new track “Break Free,” saying a lot about Thurmond’s own perspective and deep understanding of the subjects of relationships and love. The end result is a musically intricate track blending soul, pop and R&B that’s incredibly easy to listen and relate to.

“After working tirelessly for about 7 years, I’m beyond excited to announce that I’ve signed to DEFDISCO,” said Thurmond. “It’s really refreshing to be associated with a group of people who see where music is today and know how to navigate it. The way I see it, these guys have only begun to make their impact on the Dallas scene and the industry as a whole. I’m home!”

A self-reflective process for Thurmond, writing “Break Free” and the remainder of the tracks on “People Change” was the artist’s way of looking inward. An album focused on growth, Thurmond attributes his own growth on the album to his development as a writer and recent experience on his first national solo tour. Songwriting didn’t always come easy to Thurmond on the new album, but the result of a sometimes painful creative process is a compilation of 10 flawless genre-bending tracks.

“You start to notice the things about yourself that hurt you, and others, and then you start to link those things to events in your past,” said Thurmond about the songwriting process. “At that point you’re faced with a choice to continue on in this stunted phase of self-destruction, or change. This process has been tragically played down to ‘maturing,’ when actually it’s more like shedding skin. It’s kind of supposed to hurt.”

“Break Free,” the first single off of the group’s third full-length release, was mixed by Adam Pickrell (St. Vincent) and recorded at Dallas-based Elmwood Recording Studios, a local studio owned by Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent). Featuring world-famous keys player Bobby Sparks (Prince/Snarky Puppy/St. Vincent) on Moog synth, the track was engineered by percussionist and engineer Alex Bhore of This Will Destroy You and mastered by Brad Dale. “Break Free,” a deep and meaningful track, is “future soul with one foot in vintage Stevie Wonder” (Jason Reimer). Also featured on the album are The Millennials band mates Gino Iglehart on percussion, Mike Clowes on electric guitar, Cris Brenham on keys, and Jay Sandford on bass guitar, with Los Angeles-based background vocalist Cherish Jones, a sultry addition to the tracks. Additional details to be announced on the LP production and featured artists.

A unique voice, talented guitarist and thoughtful lyricist, Kirk Thurmond and his soulful group The Millennials put on a compelling live show, ultimately landing them a nomination for “Best R&B/Funk Act” in this year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards. Pulling inspiration from the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, Thurmond’s voice pulls you in with conviction in every subtle inflection. With lyrics identifying the struggles of growing up as a millennial, wading through issues of religion, politics, independence and self-awareness, the singer-songwriter and his group share pure chemistry. Kirk Thurmond & The Millennials have shared the stage with nationally-touring artists like Emily King and Lee Fields and will be performing at this year’s 7th annual Homegrown Music Festival this May. Additionally, Thurmond himself has opened up for Mint Condition, Jason Castro, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mingo Fishtrap, Ryan Cabrera and more.

“Break Free” is currently available for purchase through iTunes, Spotify and the group’s website, www.ktatmmusic.com. For more information, please visit the artist’s website.

“I have been a fan of Kirk Thurmond from the moment I happened upon him playing a gig. Fun, smart, well done and danceable with a groove a mile wide. Definitely one to watch in the next year.” -Paul Slavens of The Paul Slavens Show on KXT 91.7 FM.

“[Their sound] feels very modern to me with hints of the imaginary band Stevie Wonder created in the studio on his heyday. Like future soul with one foot dipped in vintage Stevie Wonder.” –Jason Reimer, filmmaker/composer/partner at Texas Theater.

“Kirk Thurmond for me is the consummate soul musician. He is a master of his craft, well-versed in every era of R&B, jazz and blues.” -Stephen Ketner of Dallas-based jazz band The Free Loaders.

“’Break Free’ is a dope, upbeat groove that makes me shuffle when walking.” –So-So Topic

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