Radio Drive is an Alternative Pop-Rock project featuring Kevin Gullickson. Radio Drive has won numerous international awards and nominations, and has been aired on radio stations around the world, alongside major artists, while topping indie charts, and receiving rave reviews from media and radio outlets on a global level. Kevin’s music has been used on shows airing on NBC Networks, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Comedy Central, Fox Channels, History Channel, Spike TV and Discovery Channel.
After releasing the full-length album “Before The Day is Through”, in September of 2021, Kevin who lives and has his studio in Minnesota, didn’t feel the time was right to resume live performances, so he decided to record some songs to sketch his new ideas and keep himself busy. Not wanting to undertake another full album recording, he opted for a 4-track EP instead.
The result of Radio Drive’s endeavors is, “One Breath Away”, on which Kevin played all the instruments himself and worked with some midi software to add additional string and keyboard arrangements. He also called in his ‘go to’ drummer, Matteo Andrigo, a session player from Italy, who had already worked on the last few Radio Drive albums. Kevin then worked with Steve “Mr Mig” Migliore to do the final mix and mastering, for a more pop feel. Migliore’s credits include Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Madonna.
I sure looked forward to the new recording by Radio Drive, but as usual, asked myself the same questions: “Will it be like the last album, but different enough to show progress? Will it be better?” And yes, Kevin Gullickson surprised me again, as “One Breath Away” is all of those things, but in a different way to his previous work. This release is his most all-embracing recording that I can remember. It’s filled with plenty of luscious pop-rock melodies, sumptuous harmonies, and ear-warming arrangements.
The EP opens with “I Believe I Believe” which quickly captivates, featuring wandering piano lines, coupled with the thickly chorded guitar riffs, tasteful drumming, and most importantly, Kevin Gullickson’s resonating vocals. The melody and passion in his voice is stunning. He always sounds both graceful and soulful, which fits so perfectly with Radio Drive’s elegant arrangements.
“Moment by Moment” sticks to the refined musical template heard in the opening song. In fact, it may even be more sophisticated with its washes of strings, sweeping choruses and twinkling keys. It’s genuine music that is from the heart, and it really spoke to me. The song keeps the emotional stakes rolling with its affectionate theme of appreciating loved ones, and leaves the musical bar at the highest rung.
“Be Yourself Tonight” slows the pace on the gentle instrumental introduction. The atmospheric sounds of the bass and piano has left me in awe. The musicianship isn’t overpowering with its attack but it’s bleeding with intensity as Radio Drive move towards the bridge and chorus. The call to be ‘your true and authentic self’ is powerful throughout the song, as is the sound of Kevin’s voice, as he soars meticulously through the narrative.
The EP closes with “Don’t You Know”, which lays down a much grittier guitar foundation, and a more expansive arrangement with dynamic strings and kinetic vocal passages embellishing the song. This track will wrap you up and force you to listen to it because all of the forceful sonic flourishes Kevin Gullickson has weaved into it.
Overall, Radio Drive is at the top of its game throughout the EP “One Breath Away”, which is out via 12 Story Records, and Kevin Gullickson sounds like he is having an amazing time propelling this project. And that’s not a secondary sentiment in the business of music creation.