South Carolinian KaiL Baxley knows his way around music. Having grown up next to soul legend James Brown, Baxley was constantly being exposed to different sounds and genres. And to a large degree, these formative musical experiences helped to shape the direction of Baxley’s own musical career. He first began making music when his godfather gave him a guitar as a graduation gift. He developed a casual blues and gospel influenced style that fit well with his distinctive and warmly inviting voice. You can find more of his southern soul-inflected narratives on Heatstroke/The Wind and the War, his recent double EP release on Forty Below Records.
On his latest single, the churning, slow soul burner “Boy Got It Bad,” Baxley conjures the spirits of Nina Simone and Son House, and we are lucky enough to be there for the minimalist jam session. The song’s languid blues rhythm and honeyed vocal melody evoke both the spontaneity of classic jazz singers and the subdued delta desire of southern blues singers. Baxley invests the song with such an earnest and heartfelt sense of longing that you can practically see the frustration dripping off each note. With its percussive gospel claps and backing vocals seemingly pulled from centuries old spirituals, “Boy Got It Bad” feels drawn from the past – haunted by the souls of people who could never let go of their love here on earth.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the latest single, “Boy Got It Bad,” from KaiL Baxley’s recent double EP release, Heatstroke/The Wind and the War.